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Towards a relational paradigm in sustainability research, practice and education

Walsh, Zack ; Böhme, Jessica and Wamsler, Christine LU (2021) In Ambio: a Journal of Human Environment 50(1). p.74-84
Abstract
Relational thinking has recently gained increasing prominence across academic disciplines in an attempt to understand complex phenomena in terms of constitutive processes and relations. Interdisciplinary fields of study, such as science and technology studies (STS), the environmental humanities, and the posthumanities, for example, have started to reformulate academic understanding of nature-cultures based on relational thinking. Although the sustainability crisis serves as a contemporary backdrop and in fact calls for such innovative forms of interdisciplinary scholarship, the field of sustainability research has not yet tapped into the rich possibilities offered by relational thinking. Against this background, the purpose of this paper... (More)
Relational thinking has recently gained increasing prominence across academic disciplines in an attempt to understand complex phenomena in terms of constitutive processes and relations. Interdisciplinary fields of study, such as science and technology studies (STS), the environmental humanities, and the posthumanities, for example, have started to reformulate academic understanding of nature-cultures based on relational thinking. Although the sustainability crisis serves as a contemporary backdrop and in fact calls for such innovative forms of interdisciplinary scholarship, the field of sustainability research has not yet tapped into the rich possibilities offered by relational thinking. Against this background, the purpose of this paper is to identify relational approaches to ontology, epistemology, and ethics which are relevant to sustainability research. More specifically, we analyze how relational approaches have been understood and conceptualized across a broad range of disciplines and contexts relevant to sustainability to identify and harness connections and contributions for future sustainability-related work. Our results highlight common themes and patterns across relational approaches, helping to identify and characterize a relational paradigm within sustainability research. On this basis, we conclude with a call to action for sustainability researchers to co-develop a research agenda for advancing this relational paradigm within sustainability research, practice, and education. (Less)
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author
; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Ambio: a Journal of Human Environment
volume
50
issue
1
pages
11 pages
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • pmid:32112294
  • scopus:85081331428
ISSN
0044-7447
DOI
10.1007/s13280-020-01322-y
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
46cd3be4-b2f5-44f7-be92-8a16a8d5bb6f
date added to LUP
2020-04-03 16:35:21
date last changed
2021-01-04 11:07:45
@article{46cd3be4-b2f5-44f7-be92-8a16a8d5bb6f,
  abstract     = {Relational thinking has recently gained increasing prominence across academic disciplines in an attempt to understand complex phenomena in terms of constitutive processes and relations. Interdisciplinary fields of study, such as science and technology studies (STS), the environmental humanities, and the posthumanities, for example, have started to reformulate academic understanding of nature-cultures based on relational thinking. Although the sustainability crisis serves as a contemporary backdrop and in fact calls for such innovative forms of interdisciplinary scholarship, the field of sustainability research has not yet tapped into the rich possibilities offered by relational thinking. Against this background, the purpose of this paper is to identify relational approaches to ontology, epistemology, and ethics which are relevant to sustainability research. More specifically, we analyze how relational approaches have been understood and conceptualized across a broad range of disciplines and contexts relevant to sustainability to identify and harness connections and contributions for future sustainability-related work. Our results highlight common themes and patterns across relational approaches, helping to identify and characterize a relational paradigm within sustainability research. On this basis, we conclude with a call to action for sustainability researchers to co-develop a research agenda for advancing this relational paradigm within sustainability research, practice, and education.},
  author       = {Walsh, Zack and Böhme, Jessica and Wamsler, Christine},
  issn         = {0044-7447},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {74--84},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Ambio: a Journal of Human Environment},
  title        = {Towards a relational paradigm in sustainability research, practice and education},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13280-020-01322-y},
  doi          = {10.1007/s13280-020-01322-y},
  volume       = {50},
  year         = {2021},
}