Through diverse engagements with natural resource extraction and ecological vulnerability in the contemporary Arctic, contributors to this volume apprehend Arctic resource regimes through the concept of abstraction. Abstraction refers to the creation of new material substances and cultural values by detaching parts from existing substances and values. The abstractive process differs from the activity of extractive industries by its focus on the conceptual resources that conceal processes of exploitation associated with extraction. The study of abstraction can thus help us attune to the formal operations that make appropriations of value possible while disclosing the politics of extraction and of its representation.
About the Author
Arthur Mason is Associate Professor in Social Anthropology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. His previous edited volume is Subterranean Estates: Lifeworlds of Oil and Gas, with co-editors Hanna Appel and Michael Watts (Cornell, 2015).