Sustainability and the Citizen
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  • Placing the Individual in Social Science Research... How to do research on the individual? One way: Ethnography – “ ethnography provides unreplicable insight into the processes and meanings that sustain and motivate social groups” (Herbert, 2000:550).
  • Placing the Individual in Social Science Research... How to do research on the individual? One way: Ethnography – “ ethnography provides unreplicable insight into the processes and meanings that sustain and motivate social groups” (Herbert, 2000:550).
  • Placing the Individual in Social Science Research... How to do research on the individual? One way: Ethnography – “ ethnography provides unreplicable insight into the processes and meanings that sustain and motivate social groups” (Herbert, 2000:550).
  • Placing the Individual in Social Science Research... How to do research on the individual? One way: Ethnography – “ ethnography provides unreplicable insight into the processes and meanings that sustain and motivate social groups” (Herbert, 2000:550).
  • So in this module we want you to bring home the struggles tensions and interests in reconciling sd and environmentalism at the individual level into your own lives. We want you to record your experiences, adventures and just normal everyday life and how its possible to change, ignore, connect, struggle or be successful in implementing a more sustainable existence as students in Cardiff in 2008.
  • Placing the Individual in Social Science Research... How to do research on the individual? One way: Ethnography – “ ethnography provides unreplicable insight into the processes and meanings that sustain and motivate social groups” (Herbert, 2000:550).
  • Placing the Individual in Social Science Research... How to do research on the individual? One way: Ethnography – “ ethnography provides unreplicable insight into the processes and meanings that sustain and motivate social groups” (Herbert, 2000:550).
  • Placing the Individual in Social Science Research... How to do research on the individual? One way: Ethnography – “ ethnography provides unreplicable insight into the processes and meanings that sustain and motivate social groups” (Herbert, 2000:550).
  • Placing the Individual in Social Science Research... How to do research on the individual? One way: Ethnography – “ ethnography provides unreplicable insight into the processes and meanings that sustain and motivate social groups” (Herbert, 2000:550).
  • Placing the Individual in Social Science Research... How to do research on the individual? One way: Ethnography – “ ethnography provides unreplicable insight into the processes and meanings that sustain and motivate social groups” (Herbert, 2000:550).
  • Placing the Individual in Social Science Research... How to do research on the individual? One way: Ethnography – “ ethnography provides unreplicable insight into the processes and meanings that sustain and motivate social groups” (Herbert, 2000:550).
  • Placing the Individual in Social Science Research... How to do research on the individual? One way: Ethnography – “ ethnography provides unreplicable insight into the processes and meanings that sustain and motivate social groups” (Herbert, 2000:550).

Sustainability and the Citizen Sustainability and the Citizen Presentation Transcript

  • CPT737: Sustainability in Practice
    • Lecture 2: Ethics and Environmental Citizenship
    • Richard Cowell
    • [email_address]
  • This week:
    • Looking at two theoretical perspectives on our personal environmental responsibilities: ideas of ‘citizenship’ from political theory, and environmental ethics from moral philosophy
    • Methodological: explaining focus groups
    • Practical: focus groups discussion – ‘do you consider yourself an environmentalist?’
    • ENVIRONMENTAL CITIZENSHIP
  • Why has ‘citizenship’ become a buzzword?
    • ‘ Citizenship’ is concerned with the duties and responsibilities that bind us to society
    • Key component of 3 rd Way ideology – the state will help those that take responsibility for helping themselves
    • Concern about declining electoral turnout, and of social cohesion in the face of increasing immigration
    • Functional arguments in the environmental sphere, stemming back to This Common Inheritance (1990), in the ideological context of neo-liberalism
  • Defining environmental citizenship
    • Environmental citizenship is difficult to define precisely (see Dobson, Bell)
    • It means people acting sustainably (driving less, recycling, etc) but also makes assumptions about values and attitudes
    • Citizenship is concerned with the relationship between individuals and society , and implies a duty to act in ways which support the common good
  • What makes environmental citizenship different?
    • For Dobson, the basis of duty is impact
    • Therefore, environmental citizenship should be ‘cosmopolitan’, rather than be restricted to membership of a nation state …
    • … and incorporates actions in our private lives, as well as in the public sphere
  • What do we mean by ‘ethics’?
    • A branch of philosophy ‘involving the systematic study and evaluation of … normative judgements’ (Desjardins 2001, 19)
    • i.e. judgements about what is good/bad or right/wrong
    • Ethics can raise questions about the ways we live our lives, our choices, etc
  • In class exercise
    • What do you feel about the Singer reading?
    • Do you agree or disagree with it?
    • Does it encourage you to think differently about your life and actions? Why, or why not?
    • Any terms you didn’t understand?
    • Discuss for ten minutes; feed back to class
  • Key points from the Singer reading
    • The consequences of not doing what we could to help the world’s poorest is not very different from murder
    • We need to act in accordance with the duty to save life wherever we can – we have an obligation to act in ways that would help
    • Singer’s philosophical framework is utilitarian , consequentialist and impartial
  • Key debates
    • POWER How powerful is ethical reasoning in changing behaviour? It assumes that people respond to detached, rational logic
    • GEOGRAPHY It requires us to think at unfamiliar scales, looking at global consequences not favouring local relations
    • ETHICAL PRINCIPLES CONFLICT Even well-defended ethical principles can conflict . Can there be universal systems of value?
  • Focus groups as a research method
    • Definition: a loosely structured discussion with a group of people, on a specific topic, run by a moderator
    • Advantages:
    • Efficiency
    • Authentic capturing of opinion formation
    • Obtain a range of perspectives, including from interactions
    • More power to interviewees
  • Practical considerations
    • Taking notes and recording is trickier; can be useful to have two people
    • How many groups?
    • How big should the groups be?
    • Role of the moderator; scope to cover two to six topic headings an hour
  • Disadvantages of focus groups:
    • The researcher has less control
    • Data more difficult to process and analyse
    • Organisational difficulties
    • Dealing with difficult individuals
    • Not appropriate for all questions (causal questions) or all subjects (e.g. sensitive issues)
    • Tendency towards consensus?