Advanced

‘What if trees could see the stars?’ How the phenomenological experiencing of nature can (or cannot) contribute to fostering social and environmental justice by affecting capitalist patterns of thinking around nature.

Klöppel, Lea LU (2016) HEKM50 20161
Human Ecology
Department of Human Geography
Abstract
In line with the Capitalocene narrative, this thesis argues how globally prevailing social* and environmental injustices (including ecological injustices) are driven by systemic capitalist patterns of thinking. In order to enhance social* and environmental justice, it seems thus essential to tackle these. However, there does not yet exist an analytical framework providing a comprehensive overview of the range of capitalist patterns of thinking. Acknowledging this, I raise the question whether it would be meaningful to tackle capitalist patterns of thinking around nature in which nature is regarded as no more than a resource (as ‘capital’) — a view on nature which legitimises the growth-driven extraction of natural resources, a view without... (More)
In line with the Capitalocene narrative, this thesis argues how globally prevailing social* and environmental injustices (including ecological injustices) are driven by systemic capitalist patterns of thinking. In order to enhance social* and environmental justice, it seems thus essential to tackle these. However, there does not yet exist an analytical framework providing a comprehensive overview of the range of capitalist patterns of thinking. Acknowledging this, I raise the question whether it would be meaningful to tackle capitalist patterns of thinking around nature in which nature is regarded as no more than a resource (as ‘capital’) — a view on nature which legitimises the growth-driven extraction of natural resources, a view without which the capitalist dynamics underlying social* and environmental injustices would lose their material fuel.
The theoretical part of this thesis draws on ethnographic fieldwork methodology to explore the potential of one particular approach —the phenomenological experiencing of nature as taught at Schumacher College, UK— to shifting people’s patterns of thinking around nature in a way that they interfere with the capitalist logic, and hence the potential of this approach to contribute to enhancing social* and environmental justice. The collected fieldwork data reveal that this approach has the potential to affect people’s nature-related patterns of thinking in ways that conflict with the capitalist view on nature, as well as the potential to enkindle a sense of care for other-than-humans that is translated into actions of care for local other-than-humans. Yet, the data also show that this approach does not have the potential to raise awareness about other-than-humans (and humans) in remote ‘shadow places’ with poor living conditions created through capitalist dynamics, and hence does not have the potential to enkindle actions aiming at taking care of such beings — actions that might have the potential to contribute to fostering social* and environmental justice. For the potential of this approach to unfold for the benefit of social* and environmental justice, I conclude that it is imperative to politicise it by embedding it in activities raising awareness about capitalist dynamics and the shadow places they create. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Klöppel, Lea LU
supervisor
organization
course
HEKM50 20161
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Capitalocene, social and environmental justice, ecological justice, capitalism, systemic patterns of thinking, phenomenology, human/nature dualism, nature as capital
language
English
id
8892427
date added to LUP
2017-05-22 14:32:40
date last changed
2017-05-22 14:32:40
@misc{8892427,
  abstract     = {In line with the Capitalocene narrative, this thesis argues how globally prevailing social* and environmental injustices (including ecological injustices) are driven by systemic capitalist patterns of thinking. In order to enhance social* and environmental justice, it seems thus essential to tackle these. However, there does not yet exist an analytical framework providing a comprehensive overview of the range of capitalist patterns of thinking. Acknowledging this, I raise the question whether it would be meaningful to tackle capitalist patterns of thinking around nature in which nature is regarded as no more than a resource (as ‘capital’) — a view on nature which legitimises the growth-driven extraction of natural resources, a view without which the capitalist dynamics underlying social* and environmental injustices would lose their material fuel.
The theoretical part of this thesis draws on ethnographic fieldwork methodology to explore the potential of one particular approach —the phenomenological experiencing of nature as taught at Schumacher College, UK— to shifting people’s patterns of thinking around nature in a way that they interfere with the capitalist logic, and hence the potential of this approach to contribute to enhancing social* and environmental justice. The collected fieldwork data reveal that this approach has the potential to affect people’s nature-related patterns of thinking in ways that conflict with the capitalist view on nature, as well as the potential to enkindle a sense of care for other-than-humans that is translated into actions of care for local other-than-humans. Yet, the data also show that this approach does not have the potential to raise awareness about other-than-humans (and humans) in remote ‘shadow places’ with poor living conditions created through capitalist dynamics, and hence does not have the potential to enkindle actions aiming at taking care of such beings — actions that might have the potential to contribute to fostering social* and environmental justice. For the potential of this approach to unfold for the benefit of social* and environmental justice, I conclude that it is imperative to politicise it by embedding it in activities raising awareness about capitalist dynamics and the shadow places they create.},
  author       = {Klöppel, Lea},
  keyword      = {Capitalocene,social and environmental justice,ecological justice,capitalism,systemic patterns of thinking,phenomenology,human/nature dualism,nature as capital},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {‘What if trees could see the stars?’ How the phenomenological experiencing of nature can (or cannot) contribute to fostering social and environmental justice by affecting capitalist patterns of thinking around nature.},
  year         = {2016},
}