Concepts of Water

from an anthropological perspective

Various concepts try to make water tangible from a social or cultural science perspective. Some of them are presented here. The selection will continue to be developed.


"…Water is not only the sine qua non of life in general, it is also seen to configure societies in particular ways and to generate particular values."
Kirsten Hastrup

Water can be thought of as an abstraction in numerical systems and models.
However, this should not be done without including the associated social embeddedness because the diversity of human action, social inequalities and political interests challenges the self-evidence of modern hydrology and makes techno-social approaches necessary.


Hastrup, Kirsten (2013): Water and the Configuration of Social Worlds: An Anthropological Perspective
Journal of Water Resource and Protection, Vol. 5 No. 4A, pp. 59-66. (