Invited plenary speaker: The Transformative Potential of New Environmentalism and Its Narratives

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talkResearch


Co-organized by RN12 - Environment and Society & RN25 - Social Movements Abstract The last decade has witnessed novel trends in environmental activism, which will be approached from two different perspectives in this session. The first part will focus on everyday small-scale struggles for social and environmental change in an urban setting, its eco-social transformative potential and how to theorize such initiatives. How can we develop better sociological ways to comprehend the important political difference that small-scale collective actions initiate? Which research methods would suit best to study environmental movements and what is the position of the researcher? What is the potential of everyday environmentalism or diverse examples of alternative political practice in extending ideas of environmental justice and in reclaiming its political importance? The second part of the session deals with imaginaries and narratives by environmental mobilizations focused on the experience or acceptance of loss. In certain currents of climate justice activism, the transition movement and so-called collapsology networks, a “postapocalyptic” environmentalism that views catastrophe as ongoing or unavoidable has partially displaced previous apocalyptic narratives that portray it as a future threat. How is a postapocalyptic politics possible and what role does hope play in it? A variety of strategies employed by activists are charted, including invoking new forms of hope through a rejection of “false” hope, the reliance on emotions generated by the interaction with things as well as human others, and the emergence of philosophical outlooks that stress mourning and loyalty to what is lost Speakers Sherilyn MacGregor, University of Manchester Carl Cassegård, University of Gothenburg
Period2 Sept 2021
Event titleEuropean Sociological Association 15th Annual Conference 2021
Event typeConference
LocationBarcelona, SpainShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational