Moir  7409
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×
 

Moir 7409

on

  • 831 views

 

Statistics

Views

Total Views
831
Views on SlideShare
822
Embed Views
9

Actions

Likes
0
Downloads
4
Comments
0

2 Embeds 9

http://www.ecocityworldsummit.org 8
http://www.slideshare.net 1

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Microsoft PowerPoint

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

    Moir  7409 Moir 7409 Presentation Transcript

    • Ecocity World Summit Academic Sessions University of California at Berkeley Extension San Francisco, 22-23 rd April 2008 Consuming Cities & Contradictory Discourses   Dr James Moir University of Abertay Dundee United Kingdom
    • Ecocity World Summit Academic Sessions University of California at Berkeley Extension San Francisco, 22-23 rd April 2008
      • Introduction
      • Social scientists have begun to develop models that factor in how socio-psychological variables can be worked into any potential solution to urban environment problems.
      • Waste management, water and energy conservation are all areas that can be considered as important environmental concerns where an understanding socio-psychological factors can impact upon environmental policy.
    • Ecocity World Summit Academic Sessions University of California at Berkeley Extension San Francisco, 22-23 rd April 2008
      • Environmental Psychology
      • In psychological terms, the two main theoretical perspectives that have been adopted in terms of this process of influence have been attitude theory and applied behavioural analysis.
      • Of the two there is little doubt that the attitudinal approach is the more dominant with almost two-thirds of all environmental-psychology publications including the notion of ‘environmental attitude’ in one form or another.
    • Ecocity World Summit Academic Sessions University of California at Berkeley Extension San Francisco, 22-23 rd April 2008
      • The attitudinal approach is concerned with the analysis of cognitive-evaluative determinants of behaviour; for example, the ways in which what people think about recycling or the environment in general as an influence their recycling behaviour.
      • The behavioural analysis approach has examined the effects of the manipulation of rewards and punishments in influencing people to engage in less environmentally damaging behaviour.
    • Ecocity World Summit Academic Sessions University of California at Berkeley Extension San Francisco, 22-23 rd April 2008
      • A More Sociological Approach
      • The main problem with the psychological approach is that it is essentially individualistic in nature, whether focusing on mental processes ‘inside’ the person, or the effects of ‘external’ rewards and punishments.
      • One way of bringing a more sociological understanding of environmentally sustainable practices is the application of Bourdieu’s notion of ‘social capital’.
    • Ecocity World Summit Academic Sessions University of California at Berkeley Extension San Francisco, 22-23 rd April 2008
      • In essence this refers to social connections, bond and norms that encourages productive activities.
      • Social capital is therefore viewed as a key means through which people can work and co-operate with each other to accomplish a more environmentally sustainable way of living in urban communities.
      • E.g. Kurz et al. (2007) on recycling in Belfast, Northern Ireland; Du Toit et al. (2007) on walkability in Adelaide in Australia.
    • Ecocity World Summit Academic Sessions University of California at Berkeley Extension San Francisco, 22-23 rd April 2008
      • However, despite the greater weight afforded to social relations there is still again the notion of psychological influence occurring between community members.
      • Social bonds and engagement in collective participatory action require some means by which people can influence each other so as to take on board and act upon the ‘message’ of environmental sustainability.
    • Ecocity World Summit Academic Sessions University of California at Berkeley Extension San Francisco, 22-23 rd April 2008
      • The implicit notion here is of some kind of social psychology between community members.
      • In other words, it is assumed there is some mental process taking place that is mediated by social interaction and communication.
      • It is also the case that barriers to the messages promoting en environmentally sustainable behaviour have traded upon such cognitivist notions of information-processing.
    • Ecocity World Summit Academic Sessions University of California at Berkeley Extension San Francisco, 22-23 rd April 2008
      • These barriers are commonly characterized in terms of:
        • Direct mental phenomena (e.g. lack of knowledge or understanding, weak environmentally-relevant attitudes, or a lack of motivation for engaging sustainable behaviour).
        • References to external sources that consider ways of making any psychological cost-benefit calculation weigh in favour of the mediational pathways between environmental policy messages and behavioural ‘decisions’ and ‘choices’ (e.g. public policy initiatives that make performing sustainable behaviours relatively convenient and affordable.
    • Ecocity World Summit Academic Sessions University of California at Berkeley Extension San Francisco, 22-23 rd April 2008
      • Beyond Cognitivist Assumptions:
      • A Discursive Approach
      • This work has been primarily concerned with policy rhetoric surrounding the discourse of “sustainable development” .
      • It has drawn attention to issue of there being no clearly defined meaning or definition of sustainability.
      • There is a diversity of academic, policy, business, and lay discourses that may sometimes complement and at other times compete with one another.
    • Ecocity World Summit Academic Sessions University of California at Berkeley Extension San Francisco, 22-23 rd April 2008
      • These contradictions and discrepancies between a discourses of global sustainability and local community day-to-day issues has been given some tacit recognition following the Johannesburg UN World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 and the launch of the Local Action 21 .
      • In effect this is an evolution of Local Agenda 21 and the recognition that “fine words” about sustainability require translation into action “on the ground” at the level of people’s routine habits and existence.
    • Ecocity World Summit Academic Sessions University of California at Berkeley Extension San Francisco, 22-23 rd April 2008
      • However, this global-local dichotomy has also been studied itself as a discursive construction in terms of the rhetorical strategies mobilized to account for practices that may be undesirable, from a sustainability perspective, but still nonetheless preserving the status quo (Kurz 2005).
      • This research identified the ways in which energy and water are constructed as resources and the discursive strategies mobilized by members of one particular community in the city of Perth, Western Australia to account for and legitimize their specific resource-consumption practices.
    • Ecocity World Summit Academic Sessions University of California at Berkeley Extension San Francisco, 22-23 rd April 2008
      • Participants were able to account for their water-use habits by rhetorically positioning themselves as caught in a dilemma between a personal desire to conserve water and a social obligation to maintain the appearance of their gardens in keeping with the aesthetic appeal of the suburbs in which they lived.
      • The net effect is an expression of having environmentally friendly attitudes whilst circumventing the need for any form change to what may be considered as environmentally harmful practices.
    • Ecocity World Summit Academic Sessions University of California at Berkeley Extension San Francisco, 22-23 rd April 2008
      • Discursive Practices and Ideological Effects
      • These discursive constructions therefore constitute a barrier to the promotion of more environmentally sustainable practices.
      • It is not that people lack supportive attitudes, but rather that their discursive construction of such ‘internal’ cognitions can be presented as conflicting with ‘external’ social norms.
    • Ecocity World Summit Academic Sessions University of California at Berkeley Extension San Francisco, 22-23 rd April 2008
      • This can be considered as an ideological issue in terms of the effects of such discourse.
      • There is a huge cultural imperative to be seen to have thought about serious global matters such as environmental degradation as a result of human behaviours.
      • Global environmental issues as a result of urbanisation affect us all and there is hardly a day goes by without the media reporting upon how our cities are measuring up to confronting these issues.
    • Ecocity World Summit Academic Sessions University of California at Berkeley Extension San Francisco, 22-23 rd April 2008 Are you doing your part to recycle? Tim Webb Sunday February 24 2008 Want to cut your carbon? Join our club Social networks where guilty greens admit to carbon crimes and are punished for profligacy spread through UK. How do UK cities really measure up? The race to be a truly ‘sustainable city’ is increasingly competitive, with Manchester determined to become ‘the Greenest City in Britain by 2010’, Bristol wanting to become a ‘Green Capital’ and London aiming for nothing less than the status of ‘most sustainable city in the world’.
    • Ecocity World Summit Academic Sessions University of California at Berkeley Extension San Francisco, 22-23 rd April 2008
      • People’s views are rendered as individual opinions, evaluations and judgments such that issues about societal expanding rates of consumption of water or energy are ruled out.
      • Thus, an individual can show that they have acted upon their attitudes and opinions about the environment by engaging in more ‘environmentally friendly’ behaviour, or they can express a concern to act in such a way but that this choice is blocked or made difficult in some way or other.
    • Ecocity World Summit Academic Sessions University of California at Berkeley Extension San Francisco, 22-23 rd April 2008
      • Global Issues and local discourses
      • My focus, like that of Kurz (2005), is on the ways in which particular discursive constructions of serve rhetorical functions and also produce ideological effects.
      • This work draws upon discursive psychology (e.g. Edwards & Potter, 1992; Edwards, 1997; Potter 1996) where cognition is not treated as an explanatory resource but rather a discursive phenomenon within social practice.
    • Ecocity World Summit Academic Sessions University of California at Berkeley Extension San Francisco, 22-23 rd April 2008
      • It would appear to be the case that there are potentially a number of ways in which discursive resources can be drawn in such a manner as to manage personal accountability in ways that permit potentially environmentally damaging practices to remain unchallenged .
      • This involves the global/local dichotomy in various guises and can allow people to legitimate and justify existing patterns of behaviour to themselves and others.
    • Ecocity World Summit Academic Sessions University of California at Berkeley Extension San Francisco, 22-23 rd April 2008
      • 1. Principle versus Practice
      • Wetherell, Stiven & Potter (1987) conducted a study of equal opportunities talk in which they found a mix of “principle versus practice” discursive constructions with regard to gender and employment opportunities.
      • In other words people could at one and the same time appeal to identifying in principle with equal opportunities in an abstract sense whilst citing practical affairs as somehow inevitably at odds with this in how things are in the ‘real world' of day-to-day living.
    • Ecocity World Summit Academic Sessions University of California at Berkeley Extension San Francisco, 22-23 rd April 2008
      • A pro-environment position can be undermined by pointing to practical considerations that are an unavoidable part of living.
      • It is possible for people to point to how they would like the world to be and to espouse a view but to also drawn upon a “that’s how it is” discursive construction which effectively negates the former.
      • This need not be a deliberate strategy as such but a way in which people can account for their own agency.
    • Ecocity World Summit Academic Sessions University of California at Berkeley Extension San Francisco, 22-23 rd April 2008
      • 2. The individual versus the collective
      • In the study by Kurz et al. (2005) interview respondents were able to draw upon discursive constructions that effectively managed a contrast between individual pro-environmental attitudes with the expectations and norms of the wider community.
      • The net result of this individual versus social divide was that speakers could point to wanting to engage in water conservation measures but also feeling the need to follow the social norms their neighbourhood in terms of having green lawns.
    • Ecocity World Summit Academic Sessions University of California at Berkeley Extension San Francisco, 22-23 rd April 2008
      • Norms have been used as an approach to understanding how damaging environmental behaviours can be changed (e.g. disapproval with respect to littering).
      • However, people themselves can draw upon a discourse of norms as a means of constructing constraint over agency with respect to their lack of engagement in pro-environmental behaviours.
    • Ecocity World Summit Academic Sessions University of California at Berkeley Extension San Francisco, 22-23 rd April 2008
      •  
      • 3. The general and the particular
      • Billig (1985,1987) has drawn attention to how people can weave together discursive constructions that can draw upon general categories as well as particular instances.
      • There is therefore a danger in talking about global environmental degradation that people can espouse wanting to help “save the planet” but then point to either specific instances rather than wholesale life changes or by pointing to specific minor lapses.
    • Ecocity World Summit Academic Sessions University of California at Berkeley Extension San Francisco, 22-23 rd April 2008
      •    4. Observer versus participant
      • It is also possible for people to engage in constructing themselves as observers on environmental matters in such a way that they can refer to what the perceive to be environmental problems and solutions without reference to their participation in either of these.
      • This construction of self as observer over that of participant enables people to talk about such matters in such a way as if looking out passively upon the natural environment and commenting upon it.
    • Ecocity World Summit Academic Sessions University of California at Berkeley Extension San Francisco, 22-23 rd April 2008
      • This kind of perceptual-cognitivist talk can function as a means of enabling people to pass judgment and comment on the “world out there” beyond their agency.
      • However the situation can be reversed when people do wish to accentuate their pro-environmental credentials by pointing to their participation in, for example, engaging in recycling behaviour.
      • It is therefore possible for people to place themselves as beyond the natural environment or as part of it.
    • Ecocity World Summit Academic Sessions University of California at Berkeley Extension San Francisco, 22-23 rd April 2008
      • 5. Consumer versus waster
      • Kurz et all (2005) have also pointed out how people can position themselves as necessarily consuming water and energy resources and others as potential wasters of these resources.
      • The construction of the person as necessarily engaged in using these resources can head off any potential criticism of waste.
      • However, it is possible to categorize others in an amorphous way as potential wasters of these resources.
    • Ecocity World Summit Academic Sessions University of California at Berkeley Extension San Francisco, 22-23 rd April 2008
      • This touches upon an issues raised by Shove (2005) about the nature of conceptualizing environmental issues. The whole focus is on the reduction of present usage and consumption of resources so as to avoid waste.
      • Shove points out that this leaves open how such consumption arises in the first place and how these socio-technical matters are left unaddressed.
      • She relates this to the notion of consuming “comfort” in terms of heating and cooling buildings in cities.
    • Ecocity World Summit Academic Sessions University of California at Berkeley Extension San Francisco, 22-23 rd April 2008
      • The issue is not necessarily one of wasting energy in relation to specific devices but rather the symbolic relationship between these technologies and modernity and the whole consumption-intensive notion of “comfort.”
      • People are therefore able to draw upon the “consumer” versus “waster” categories as means of framing these issues.
    • Ecocity World Summit Academic Sessions University of California at Berkeley Extension San Francisco, 22-23 rd April 2008
      • Conclusion
      • People have at their disposal a set of apparently contradictory discursive resources that enable them to legitimate their existing patterns of behaviour and by and large maintain the status quo.
      • It is not psychological in the sense that we need to consider penetrating people’s attitudes and opinions in order to generate change but rather the psychological discourse that people can draw upon can legitimate matters.