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Mending the breach between labour and nature: environmental engagements of trade unions and the North-South divide
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
Department of Environmental Psychology, University of Surrey, UK.
2012 (English)In: Interface: a journal for and about social movements, ISSN 2009-2431, Vol. 4, no 2, 81-100 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the past, environmental movements and labour movements have seen each other as opponents. Where labour movements have taken an interest in nature – in the first half of the 20th century - it was in the context of campaigning for spaces of recreation, and later as a necessary condition for a healthy life. In both cases nature has been constructed as ‘the Other’ of labour. The same can be said for environmental movements, which have aimed to defend, if not protect nature ‘against labour’. This opposition has been mirrored in the academic field such that environmental studies have taken little account of labour; likewise, labour studies have largely ignored the environment. The authors argue that these oppositions are starting to be addressed within both the labour movement and academic research, largely as a response to the crisis of climate change which makes clear that both labour and the environment are threatened. Since environmental degradation and climate change are global issues the power relations between unions of the global North and South need to be tackled.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
WorldPress , 2012. Vol. 4, no 2, 81-100 p.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-61852OAI: diva2:574238

This is a revised and extended version of chapter one in our book: Räthzel, N., Uzzell, D. (eds.) (2012) Trade Unions and the Green Economy. Working for the Environment. Oxford/New York: Earthscan/Routledge, published October 2012.

Available from: 2012-12-05 Created: 2012-11-27 Last updated: 2012-12-11Bibliographically approved

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