The introduction presents the approach. This book argues that mountains, far from being a given of nature on which these representations and imaginaries come to be grafted, deserves to be studied as a notion in itself, as the product of a social and political construction. The analysis relies on 4 key concepts: objectification (process of designating an entity), problematization (the issues that the objectification helps to address), paradigm (the ideological frame), and intervention (actions undertaken on the materiality of geographical entities). These 4 concepts compose figures of mountains, through various configurations. This section makes explicit the project of the book : identifying these configurations which have been at work in the Western world during the last three centuries, and in the context of colonization and globalization.
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