Environmental destruction as (objectively) uneventful and (subjectively) irrelevant

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/302506

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Ollinaho , O I 2016 , ' Environmental destruction as (objectively) uneventful and (subjectively) irrelevant ' , Environmental Sociology , vol. 2 , no. 1 , pp. 53-63 . https://doi.org/10.1080/23251042.2015.1114207

Title: Environmental destruction as (objectively) uneventful and (subjectively) irrelevant
Author: Ollinaho, Ossi Iivari
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Academic Disciplines of the Faculty of Social Sciences
Date: 2016-02-09
Language: eng
Number of pages: 11
Belongs to series: Environmental Sociology
ISSN: 2325-1042
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/302506
Abstract: This essay contributes to the recent criticism against individualism and cognitivism in environmental social scientific theorizing by conceptualizing two undertheorized phenomena related to environmental changes: uneventfulness and irrelevance. Under much of environmental predicament lies a process characterized by recurrent acts through which pieces of sociomateriality are taken from or added to a particular sociomaterial system. Such process not only produces cumulative sociomaterial changes, but also the corresponding withdrawals and additions lose their eventfulness over time. Elaborating on Theodore Schatzki’s work, complexity is built into the concept of practice rather than accounting for complexity with the interrelatedness of practices. Another part of the essay analyzes the subjectivity of the actor, focusing on the relevance structures of the ordinary citizens in the Global North. Environmental changes are imposed to the consciousness as intellectual problems, which tend to be incommensurate with the pragmatic necessities of everyday life. Applying Alfred Schütz’s phenomenological sociology to environmental phenomena opens up new avenues for empirical environmental sociology. Understanding the objective uneventfulness and subjective irrelevance associated with much of environmental changes helps explain the inactivity of the masses amid widespread attention on the environmental predicament.
Subject: 5203 Global Development Studies
phenomenological sociology
practice theory
cumulative sociomaterial change
uneventfulness
subjectivity
materiality
relevance structures
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