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Global Challenges for Environmental Psychology: The Place of Labor and Production
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2017 (English)In: Handbook of Environmental Psychology and Quality of Life Research / [ed] Ghozlane Fleury-Bahi, Enric Pol, Oscar Navarro, Cham: Springer International Publishing , 2017, 559-574 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

While we can find much evidence to suggest that environmental psychology has strengthened itself as a social institution, as Proshansky advocated some 30 years ago, this concluding chapter critically reviews continued shortcomings and strategies to overcome these.

In one of the most rapidly expanding fields of environmental psychology, i.e., research concerning climate change and how to avoid it, there has been a concentration on internal individual factors like knowledge, worldviews, and values. Since people live, work, and act in cooperation with others and since this cooperation is shaped by and shapes individual and collective identities and actions there is also a need for environmental psychology to focus on these collective activities and the conditions under which they can become transformative. Workplaces constitute one of the most important ‘communities of practices’, not least because the majority of people spend a large amount of their lifetime at work.

To exemplify the possibilities of research on collective action at and around work, two case studies are presented. The first employed backcasting scenarios to explore employees’ visions for an alternative, sustainable future and involved scenario development by creating visions for the future, defining strategic pathways to reach them, providing feedback on how policy measures would function in a simulated environment and asking participants to suggest corrections to their initial proposals and the model design. The second case study reports on an international study of trade union environmental policies which aim to curb the damaging effects of climate change, the causes and consequences of which develop in a global context. This research found that while action at the local level and collaboration at a global level are both critical, the divide between unions of the global South and unions of the global North is one of the main impediments to a common global trade union strategy against climate change.

This leads back to environmental psychology as a discipline, raising important issues about the ‘production’ of environmental psychology and connecting individual practices and identities to the environments, (i.e., the spaces) in which they develop. The chapter closes by suggesting that since the actions of individuals and groups are context specific, and since these contexts are connected globally, environmental psychology needs to find ways to communicate across the power geometries of the North and South, not least by finding ways to include scholars from the global South into its discourses and scientific practices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cham: Springer International Publishing , 2017. 559-574 p.
Series
International Handbooks of Quality-of-Life, ISSN 2468-7227
Keyword [en]
Consumption and production challenges, Climate change, North-South relationships, Trade unions, Backcasting
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-128762DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-31416-7_31ISBN: 978-3-319-31414-3 (print)ISBN: 978-3-319-31416-7 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-128762DiVA: diva2:1056259
Available from: 2016-12-14 Created: 2016-12-14 Last updated: 2017-07-05Bibliographically approved

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Räthzel, Nora
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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
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Language
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