The Making of Green Knowledge: Environmental Politics and Cultural Transformation

The Making of Green Knowledge: Environmental Politics and Cultural Transformation

The Making of Green Knowledge: Environmental Politics and Cultural Transformation

The Making of Green Knowledge: Environmental Politics and Cultural Transformation

Synopsis

The Making of Green Knowledge provides a wide ranging introduction to the politics of the environment and the development of environmental knowledge. Focusing in particular on the quest in recent years for more sustainable forms of socio-economic development, it attempts to place environmental politics within a broad historical perspective, and examines the different political strategies and cultural practices that have emerged. The Making of Green Knowledge is a uniquely personal exploration of the relationship between sustainable development, public participation, and cultural transformation. Through a highly accessible mix of theory, practical analysis and personal reflection it seeks to bring the making of green knowledge to life. Andrew Jamison is an American who has lived in Sweden since 1970 and is now Professor of Technology and Society at Aalborg University, Denmark. He is the co-author with Ron Eyerman of Social Movements: A Cognitive Approach (1991), Seeds of the Sixties (1994) and Music and Social Movements (1998).

Excerpt

Using ideas as my maps …

Bob Dylan, “My Back Pages” (1964)

Changes in culture and personality go hand in hand with our efforts to achieve a society that is ecological – a society based on usufruct, complementarity, and the irreducible minimum – but that also recognizes the existence of a universal humanity and the claims of individuality.

Murray Bookchin, The Ecology of Freedom (1982: 340)

From recollections …

I left the United States for Sweden in August 1970 in search of an ecological society. I have not yet found it, but through the years I have caught glimpses, or premonitions, of what an ecological society might be like. This book is, among other things, an attempt to put those experiences into a broader historical and cultural perspective.

When I left for Sweden I had just graduated from a battle-scarred Harvard, having studied history of science and taken part in the antiwar movement and in the more all-encompassing “dialectics of liberation” that filled the air at the time (see Cooper 1968). I had stumbled into environmentalism a couple of years before, attracted by its combination of practicality and vision, its mixing of science and spirituality, and, perhaps especially, by its uncanny ability to make bedfellows of people with the most seemingly incompatible interests.

In those disheartening days, when the shrill, aggressive, voices of extremism were taking over the antiwar movement, and the war itself was intensifying beyond belief, environmentalism served for me to reawaken the spirit of camaraderie and collective creativity that had all but disappeared from radical politics, and were fast disappearing from public life in general. Environmentalism seemed to transcend the ideological disputes and other sources of division, like class, race, gender, and national identity, that were tearing apart the movement I had known, and had felt . . .

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