Dr Jon Anderson - Environmental Action & Identity

3. Environmental Action & Identity

My third research interest is in the area of ‘Environmental Action & Identity’. This contribution is based on my PhD which explored (radical) environmental action and has developed to explore the possibilities of sustainable lifestyles within industrial society. This work adopted a range of innovative qualitative techniques to explore how individuals experience and manage the tension between aspirations to be ecological and the realities of living in an industrial culture [1]. This work has looked at the ways in which this tension can lead to extreme expressions of ecological identity through radical protest [2-3], but also how more everyday practices can manage and conciliate aspects of environmental identity [4]. This work combined to produce a publication that seeks to forward the agenda on environmentalism-in-practice in the twenty-first century [5]. A key research project that formed part of this contribution was based at Europe’s leading eco-centre, the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT), Machynlleth. This research involved ethnography and interviews with volunteers, employees and visitors on site, was funded through the ESRC Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society.

  1. Anderson, J. 2002 Researching environmental resistance: working through  Secondspace and Thirdspace approachesQualitative Research, 2(3), 301-322.
  2. Anderson, J. 2004 The ties that bind? Self- and place-identity in environmental direct action, Ethics, Place and Environment, 45-58
  3. Anderson, J. 2004 Spatial Politics in Practice: The style and substance of environmental direct actionAntipode, 36(1), 106-125.
  4. Anderson, J. 2007 Elusive Escapes: Everyday Life and EcotopiasEcopolitics Online. 1. 1. 64 – 82 ( Ecopolitics Online ).
  5. Anderson, J. forthcoming. Coyotes and Conventions: Environmentalism as a work in progress.Environmental Politics.