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 at the Centre.

  1. Anderson, J. 2002 Researching environmental resistance: working through  Secondspace and Thirdspace approaches, Qualitative 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 action. Antipode, 36(1), 106-125.
  4. Anderson, J. 2007 Elusive Escapes: Everyday Life and Ecotopias. Ecopolitics Online. 1. 1. 64 – 82 Ecopolitics Online.
  5. Anderson, J. 2010. Coyotes and Conventions: Environmentalism as a work in progress. Environmental Politics.
  6. Anderson, J. 2010 Elusive Escapes: Everyday Life and Ecotopias’ in Leonard, L. Barry, J. eds. Advances in Ecopolitics 5: Global Ecological Politics. Advances in Ecopolitics Book Series. Emerald: Bingley.
  7. Anderson, J. 2012. Managing trade-offs in ‘Ecotopia’:  Becoming Green at the ‘Centre for Alternative Technology.  Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. 37 2 212-225
  8. Woods M, Anderson J, Guilbert S, Watkin S, 2013, “Rhizomic radicalism and arborescent advocacy: a Deleuzo-Guattarian reading of rural protest” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 31(3) 434 – 450.
  9. Anderson, J. Woods, M. Guilbert, S. Watkin, S. 2012 ‘The country(side) is angry’: emotion and explanation in protest mobilization, Social & Cultural Geography. 13 6  567-585
  10. Anderson, J. 2013 From ‘Zombies’ to ‘Coyotes’: Environmentalism Where We Are. In Corporate Environmentalism and the Greening of Organizations   Editor(s): John M. Jermier ISBN: 978-0-85702-571-5  SAGE Publications Ltd.

Royal Town Planning Institute Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, for ‘Sustainability in Practice, MSc Sustainability, Planning & Environmental Policy. 2009

A talk given on this research to the ESRC Sustainable Identities and Transitions Conference in Leicester in October, 2011 can be found (in four parts) here:

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