Justin Raycraft

Justin Raycraf,PhD Student

justin.raycraft [at] mail.mcgill.ca (Email)justin.raycraft [at] mail.mcgill.ca


Research Interests: social and political dimensions of biodiversity conservation; livelihood practices in communities living in/around protected areas.

Project TitleAn ethnographic study of changing land use and livelihood practices in the Kwakuchinja Wildlife Corridor, Tanzania

Project Description: I seek to understand the socioeconomic and political dimensions of the Kwakuchinja Wildlife Corridor in Tanzania, with ethnographic attention to the everyday lived experiences of people residing inside the space. I am particularly interested in how people living in the corridor experience, interpret and respond to the conservation process. If local communities are unsupportive of the corridor, they may take action to undermine its success; clearing land for agriculture could delimit the mobility of migratory wildlife through the fragmentation of natural habitats, potentially putting people in direct conflict with wildlife.

Supervisor: Dr. John Galaty

Previous Education:  MA Anthropology, University of British Columbia; BA Psychology and Anthropology, University of British Columbia

I undertook my Master’s research under the supervision of Dr. Vinay Kamat at the University of British Columbia, with support from a SSHRC Joseph Armand Bombardier Master’s CGS Scholarship. Broadly, my research attended to the social and political dimensions of marine conservation in southeastern Tanzania. Specifically, I conducted an ethnographic study of a coastal fishing village, located inside of a marine park (multiple-use MPA). I addressed two key research questions: “Why do village residents oppose the marine park?”, and subsequently, “what forms of resistance do they employ to mobilize their opposition to the park?” My thesis entitled “Restrictions and resistance: an ethnographic study of marine park opposition in southeastern Tanzania” is accessible online.

My current research focus at the PhD level draws from the findings of this previous project; the thematic link between my Master’s and PhD research is my overarching interest in examining why some conservation projects are successful in garnering local support and others are not, and how these social dynamics can in turn shape conservation outcomes.

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