Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Analysis

Reader 1

Zayn Kassam

Reader 2

Melinda Herrold-Menzies

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Rights Information

© 2014 Naomi A. Bosch


Earth Island is a core metaphor of activist thought often applied in Environmental Analysis and related fields as a tool for thinking about the planet’s limited resources. It puts forth the claim that if only we thought of the earth as more like an island, we would better understand our connectivity to other living things and be drawn to develop better and more extensive practices of environmental stewardship. This thesis uses personal accounts of environmental life philosophies and political practices collected from residents of the Discovery Islands in British Columbia as a site for analytical comparison between the theory and practice of "Earth Island." First providing an overview of the history of Earth Island and exploring existing Anthropology and Island Studies scholarship on island community dynamics and environmental perspectives, this thesis examines how the environmental relationships experienced by Discovery Islanders reflect or differ from the type of activist consciousness theoretically proposed by Earth Island. This creates a context for critically reflecting on the limits and applications of the Earth Island metaphor, and suggesting shifts in current approaches to the use of island imagery in environmental political and philosophical thought, promoting a focus on more community cooperation-oriented, less fatalistic themes.