Scholars typically depict traditional ecological knowledge as a vanishing resource, negatively correlated with the capitalization of a community. The default view also tends to conceptualize such knowledge as one cohesive system, unitarily responsive to external forces. Using data from an artisanal shrimping community in Ecuador, this paper argues that current views are not sufficient to capture the complexity of socially distributed knowledge and need to be expanded. In particular, I show that integration into a market economy does not necessarily erode local knowledge about the natural world, but can actually foster the development of a new body of ecological knowledge. This finding brings into question current conceptions of traditional ecological knowledge and suggests that various types of such knowledge likely exist that are differentially subject to evolutionary forces and trajectories.
Guest, Greg. "Market Integration and the Distribution of Ecological Knowledge within an Ecuadorian Fishing Community." Journal of Ecological Anthropology 6, no. 1 (2002): 38-49.
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/jea/vol6/iss1/3