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Growing beyond rationalism: A case study on urban gardening's potential to challenge hegemonic worldviews of scientific rationalism

Burckhardt, Hanna LU (2016) HEKM50 20161
Human Ecology
Department of Human Geography
Abstract
Looking at the cultural preconditions of modern industrialized society, the presented thesis argues that the contemporary ecological crisis can be perceived as a result of modern industrial culture and the dominant worldviews of scientific rationalism which promote the supremacy of objective knowledge, economic efficiency and assumptions of human's ecological disembeddedness. If this crisis is one of culture, it can only be overcome in cultural terms and has to be approached with a focus on how to alter such cultural model. Against the background of Gramsci's philosophy of praxis and the researcher's experiences from an urban garden it is further argued that this needed cultural change can be achieved through practical activity and... (More)
Looking at the cultural preconditions of modern industrialized society, the presented thesis argues that the contemporary ecological crisis can be perceived as a result of modern industrial culture and the dominant worldviews of scientific rationalism which promote the supremacy of objective knowledge, economic efficiency and assumptions of human's ecological disembeddedness. If this crisis is one of culture, it can only be overcome in cultural terms and has to be approached with a focus on how to alter such cultural model. Against the background of Gramsci's philosophy of praxis and the researcher's experiences from an urban garden it is further argued that this needed cultural change can be achieved through practical activity and experiences made by engaging with the lived-in environment and that these experiential activities can be provided within the context of urban gardening practices. In order to find out to what extent urban gardening practices contribute to a counter-hegemonic movement that challenges promoted principles of modern industrial culture this study provides an in-depth analysis of a single but extreme case of an urban garden (Prinzessinnengarten in Berlin) and draws on qualitative data including the researcher's experiences made during ethnographic fieldwork, participant observations and participant interviews. Acknowledging the contextuality of the chosen case it is concluded that the observed practices challenge and demonstrate alternatives to diverse principles of modern industrial culture while reproducing aspects of the hegemonic structures of economic rationalism as well. Even though these findings refer to a specific case within a particular context they highlight the potential of practical activity and the entailed experiences for initiating transformative processes in diverse contexts of modern industrialized society. (Less)
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author
Burckhardt, Hanna LU
supervisor
organization
course
HEKM50 20161
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
language
English
id
8892120
date added to LUP
2017-05-22 14:37:25
date last changed
2017-05-22 14:37:25
@misc{8892120,
  abstract     = {Looking at the cultural preconditions of modern industrialized society, the presented thesis argues that the contemporary ecological crisis can be perceived as a result of modern industrial culture and the dominant worldviews of scientific rationalism which promote the supremacy of objective knowledge, economic efficiency and assumptions of human's ecological disembeddedness. If this crisis is one of culture, it can only be overcome in cultural terms and has to be approached with a focus on how to alter such cultural model. Against the background of Gramsci's philosophy of praxis and the researcher's experiences from an urban garden it is further argued that this needed cultural change can be achieved through practical activity and experiences made by engaging with the lived-in environment and that these experiential activities can be provided within the context of urban gardening practices. In order to find out to what extent urban gardening practices contribute to a counter-hegemonic movement that challenges promoted principles of modern industrial culture this study provides an in-depth analysis of a single but extreme case of an urban garden (Prinzessinnengarten in Berlin) and draws on qualitative data including the researcher's experiences made during ethnographic fieldwork, participant observations and participant interviews. Acknowledging the contextuality of the chosen case it is concluded that the observed practices challenge and demonstrate alternatives to diverse principles of modern industrial culture while reproducing aspects of the hegemonic structures of economic rationalism as well. Even though these findings refer to a specific case within a particular context they highlight the potential of practical activity and the entailed experiences for initiating transformative processes in diverse contexts of modern industrialized society.},
  author       = {Burckhardt, Hanna},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Growing beyond rationalism: A case study on urban gardening's potential to challenge hegemonic worldviews of scientific rationalism},
  year         = {2016},
}