Fleshing Out an Ecological Habitus: Field and Capitals of Radical Environmental Movements

in Nature and Culture
Author: Jeff Kirby 1
View More View Less
  • 1 University of Leeds j.kirby1@leeds.ac.uk
Restricted access

Abstract

This article relates the theoretical concept of ecological habitus to the specific context of radical environmental movements. I begin by examining how the term “ecological habitus” has been interpreted by sociologists to date and identify two evident tensions in relation to Bourdieu’s original notion of habitus. I then expand the concept of ecological habitus by considering field and capital(s) within radical environmental movements. I suggest that two broad streams of environmental concern, reformist environmentalism and ecologism, shape ecological habitus in different ways. I also advance that these same theoretical frameworks interact with organic and built habitats in particular ways that can in turn connect and shape ecological habitus to immediate landscape. Finally, I deal with the complexity of transferring ecological habitus (single field) to contemporary society (multiple fields) and propose an alternative term, green habitus, to describe an ecologically relevant habitus that occurs within contemporary society.

Contributor Notes

Jeff Kirby is a visiting fellow at the University of Leeds. He divides his time between sociological research and grassroots community projects. Following an early career in architecture he moved on to pioneer two community-based projects within an area of multiple deprivation in South Yorkshire, England. His academic research seeks to understand how community cohesion is formed around environmentalism and organic environments. Since 2001 he has been a regular visitor and willing worker within environmental communities in the southwest of England. E-mail: j.kirby1@leeds.ac.uk

  • Adams, Matthew. 2012. “A Social Engagement: How Ecopsychology Can Benefit from Dialogue with the Social Sciences”. Ecopsychology 4(3): 216222.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Barton, Hugh. 2000. Sustainable Communities: The Potential for Eco-Neighbourhoods. London: Earthscan.

  • Bell, Michael, and Michael S. Carolan. 2004. An Invitation to Environmental Sociology. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge.

  • Blackmore, Chris. 2010. Social Learning Systems and Communities of Practice. London: Springer.

  • Bourdieu, Pierre. 1980. Le sens pratique. Paris: Editions de Minuit.

  • Bourdieu, Pierre. 1984. Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

  • Bourdieu, Pierre. 1990. The Logic of Practice. Cambridge: Polity Press.

  • Bourdieu, Pierre. 2005. “Habitus.” In Habitus: A Sense of Place, ed. Jean Hillier and Emma Rooksby, 4352. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bourdieu, Pierre, and Jean Claude Passeron. 1990. Reproduction in Education, Society, and Culture, Theory, Culture & Society. London: Sage.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bourdieu, Pierre, and Loic J. D. Wacquant. 1992. Invitation to Reflexive Sociology. Cambridge: Polity Press.

  • Buttel, Frederick H. 1987. “New Directions in Environmental Sociology”. Annual Review of Sociology 13(1): 465488.

  • Calhoun, Craig J., Edward LiPuma, and Moishe Postone. 1993. Bourdieu: Critical Perspectives. Cambridge: Polity Press.

  • Camic, Charles, and Neil Gross. 1998. “Contemporary Developments in Sociological Theory: Current Projects and Conditions of Possibility”. Annual Review of Sociology 24(1): 453476.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Carfagna, Lindsey B., Emilie A. Dubois, Connor Fitzmaurice, Monique Y. Ouimette, Juliet B. Schor, Margaret Willis, and Thomas Laidley. 2014. “An Emerging Eco-Habitus: The Reconfiguration of High Cultural Capital Practices Among Ethical Consumers”. Journal of Consumer Culture 14(2): 158178.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Carter, Alan. 1999. A Radical Green Political Theory. London: Routledge.

  • Coates, Chris. 2013. Communes Britannica: Hstory of Communal Living in Britain 1939–2000. Vol. 2. London: Diggers and Dreamers.

  • Cone, John D., and Steven C. Hayes. 1984. Environmental Problems: Behavioral Solutions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Conway, Janet M. 2004. Identity, Place, Knowledge: Social Movements Contesting Globalization. Halifax, NS: Fernwood.

  • Cresswell, Tim. 2004. Place: A Short Introduction. Oxford: Blackwell.

  • Crossley, Nick. 2002. Making Sense of Social Movements. Buckingham: Open University Press.

  • Crossley, Nick. 2003. “From Reproduction to Transformation: Social Movement Fields and the Radical Habitus”. Theory, Culture & Society20(6): 4368.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dawson, Jonathan. 2006. Ecovillages: New Frontiers for Sustainability. Totnes, UK: Green Books.

  • Devall, William B. 1979. “Reformist Environmentalism”. Humboldt Journal of Social Relations 6(2): 129158.

  • Dickens, Peter. 1996. Reconstructing Nature: Alienation, Emancipation and the Division of Labour. London: Routledge.

  • Dobson, Andrew. 1995. Green Political Thought. 2nd ed. London: Routledge.

  • Dobson, Andrew, and Robyn Eckersley. 2006. Political Theory and the Ecological Challenge. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Dobson, Andrew, and Paul Lucardie. 1993. The Politics of Nature: Explorations in Green Political Theory. London: Routledge.

  • Doherty, Brian. 2002. Ideas and Actions in the Green Movement. London: Routledge.

  • Dover, John W. 2015. Green Infrastructure: Incorporating Plants and Enhancing Biodiversity in Buildings and Urban Environments. London: Routledge.

  • Eckersley, Robyn. 1992. Environmentalism and Political Theory: Toward an Ecocentric Approach. London: UCL Press.

  • Eriksen, Kristin G. 2013. “Why Education for Sustainable Development Needs Early Childhood Education: The Case of Norway”. Journal of Teacher Education for Sustainability 15(1): 107120.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Eyerman, Ron, and Andrew Jamison. 1991. Social Movements: A Cognitive Approach. Cambridge: Polity Press.

  • Fairlie, Simon. 1996. Low Impact Development: Planning and People in a Sustainable Countryside: A Report and Guide Prepared in Association with The Land Is Ours. Charlbury, UK: Jon Carpenter.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Foley, Griff. 2001. “Radical Adult Education and Learning”. International Journal of Lifelong Education 20(1–2): 7188.

  • Forno, Francesca, and Paolo R. Graziano. 2014. “Sustainable Community Movement Organisations”. Journal of Consumer Culture 14(2): 139157.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fox, Warwick. 1990. Toward a Transpersonal Ecology: Developing New Foundations for Environmentalism. Boston: Shambhala.

  • Friedmann, John. 2005. “Placemaking as Project? Habitus and Migration in Transnational Cities.” In Hillier and Rooksby, Habitus: A Sense of Place, 315333.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gaard, Greta Claire. 1993. Ecofeminism: Women, Animals, Nature. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

  • Gäbler, Karsten. 2015. “Green Capitalism, Sustainability, and Everyday Practice.” In Global Sustainability: Cultural Perspectives and Challenges for Transdisciplinary Integrated Research, ed. Benno Werlen, 6386. London: Springer.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Geus, Marius de. 1999. Ecological Utopias: Envisioning the Sustainable Society. Utrecht: Chipping Norton.

  • Gordon, Uri. 2008. Anarchy Alive! Anti-authoritarian Politics from Practice to Theory. London: Pluto Press.

  • Graeber, David. 2009. Direct Action: An Ethnography. Edinburgh: AK Press.

  • Green, Adam Isaiah. 2008. “Erotic Habitus: Toward a Sociology of Desire”. Theory and Society: Renewal and Critique in Social Theory 37(6): 597626.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hahné, Leoni H. 2012. Military Habitus vs. Medical Habitus: The Complicated Relation Between Military and Medical Officers in the Medical Corps of the Dutch Army, Instituut Beleid en Management, Gezondheidszorg. Rotterdam: Erasmus Universiteit.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Halfacree, Kieth. 2006. “From Dropping Out to Leading On? British Counter-cultural Back-to-the-Land in a Changing Rurality”. Progress in Human Geography 30(3): 309336.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Haluza-DeLay, Randolph. 2008. “A Theory of Practice for Social Movements: Environmentalism and Ecological Habitus”. Mobilization 13(2): 205218.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Harris, Adrian P. 2008. “The Wisdom of the Body: Embodied Knowing in Eco-Paganism.” PhD diss., Lancaster University.

  • Hay, Peter R. 2002. Main Currents in Western Environmental Thought. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

  • Hillier, Jean, and Emma Rooksby. 2005. Habitus: A Sense of Place. 2nd ed. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate.

  • Hitlin, Steven, and Stephen Vaisey. 2010. Handbook of the Sociology of Morality. New York: Springer.

  • Holloway, Julian J. 1998. “Undercurrent Affairs: Radical Environmentalism and Alternative News”. Environment and Planning A 30(7): 11971217.

  • Holmgren, David. 2002. Permaculture: Principles & Pathways Beyond Sustainability. Hepburn, Vic.: Holmgren Design Services.

  • Holt, Douglas B. 1997. “Distinction in America? Recovering Bourdieu’s Theory of Tastes from Its Critics”. Poetics: The Hague 25(2–3): 93120.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Horton, David R. 2002. “Searching for Sustainability: An Ethnography of Everyday Life Among Environmental Activists.” PhD diss., University of Lancaster.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Horton, David R. 2004. “Green Distinctions: The Performance of Identity among Environmental Activists”. The Sociological Review 52(1): 6377.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Howe, Joe, and Paul Wheeler. 1999. “Urban Food Growing: The Experience of Two UK Cities”. Sustainable Development 7(1): 1324.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Husu, Hanna-Mari. 2013. “Bourdieu and Social Movements: Considering Identity Movements in Terms of Field, Capital and Habitus”. Social Movement Studies 12 (3): 264279.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • James, Philip, Konstantinos Tzoulas, Mags Adams, Alan Barber, J. Box, J. Breuste, Thomas Elmqvist et al. . 2009. “Towards an Integrated Understanding of Green Space in the European Built Environment”. UFUG Urban Forestry & Urban Greening 8(2): 6575.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jamison, Ian. 2011. “Embodied Ethics and Contemporary Paganism.” PhD diss., Open University.

  • Jones, Bryn, and Mike O’Donnell. 2010. Sixties Radicalism and Social Movement Activism: Retreat or Resurgence? London: Anthem.

  • Kanter, Rosabeth Moss. 1972. Commitment and Community: Communes and Utopias in Sociological Perspective. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

  • Kasper, Debbie V. S. 2009. “Ecological Habitus: Toward a Better Understanding of Socioecological Relations”. Organization & Environment 22(3): 311326.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Keitsch, Martina Maria. 2013. “The Everyday Performance of Sustainable Lifestyles: A Study of Green Habitus in Trondheim, Norway”. The International Journal of Design in Society 6(1): 4756.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kirby, Jeff. 2014. “Religion and Spirituality within Environmental Communities: Place and Significance in the UK Context.” PhD diss., University of Leeds.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kollmuss, Anja, and Julian Agyeman. 2002. “Mind the Gap: Why Do People Act Environmentally and What Are the Barriers to Pro-environmental Behavior?Environmental Education Research 8(3): 239260.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lahire, Bernard. 2011. The Plural Actor. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.

  • Laraña, Enrique, Hank Johnston, and Joseph R. Gusfield. 1994. New Social Movements: From Ideology to Identity. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Laughton, Rebecca. 2008. Surviving and Thriving on the Land: How to Use Your Time and Energy to Run a Successful Smallholding. Totnes, UK: Green Books.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lave, Jean, and Etienne Wenger. 1991. Situated Learning Legitimate Peripheral Participation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

  • Lefebvre, Henri. 1991. The Production of Space. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

  • Lenoir, Remi. 2006. “Scientific Habitus”. Theory, Culture & Society 23(6): 2543.

  • Lorenzen, Janet A. 2012. “Going Green: The Process of Lifestyle Change”. SOCF Sociological Forum 27(1): 94116.

  • Lynch, Kevin. 1960. The Image of the City. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

  • Macnaghten, Phil, and John Urry. 1998. Contested Natures. London: Sage.

  • Maxey, Ian Juckes. 2002. “One Path Forward? Three Sustainable Communities in England and Wales.” PhD diss., University of Wales.

  • McGinnis, Michael Vincent. 1999. Bioregionalism. London: Routledge.

  • Mellor, Philip A., and Chris Shilling. 2010. “The Religious Habitus: Embodiment, Religion, and Sociological Theory.” In The New Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Religion, ed. Bryan S. Turner, 3(9): 201220. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Melucci, Alberto, John Keane, and Paul Mier. 1989. Nomads of the Present: Social Movements and Individual Needs in Contemporary Society. London: Hutchinson Radius.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Merchant, Carolyn. 1992. Radical Ecology: The Search for a Livable World. London: Routledge.

  • Merrick. 1997. Battle for the Trees. Leeds, UK: Godhaven Ink.

  • O’Shaughnessy, Sara, and Emily H. Kennedy. 2010. “Relational Activism: Reimagining Women’s Environmental Work as Cultural Change”. Canadian Journal of Sociology 35(4): 551572.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pakulski, Jan. 1991. Social Movements: The Politics of Moral Protest. Melbourne, Vic.: Longman Cheshire.

  • Pepper, David. 2005. “Utopianism and Environmentalism”. Environmental Politics 14(1): 322.

  • Pepper, David, and Nickie Hallam. 1991. Communes and the Green Vision: Counterculture, Lifestyle and the New Age. London: Green Print.

  • Pepper, David, John Perkins, and Martyn Yaings. 1984. The Roots of Modern Environmentalism. London: Croom Helm.

  • Pickerill, Jenny. 2013. “Permaculture in Practice: Low Impact Development in Britain.” In Environmental Anthropology Engaging Ecotopia: Bioregionalism, Permaculture, and Ecovillages, ed. Joshua Lockyer and James R. Veteto, 10: 180194. New York: Berghahn Books.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Plows, Alexandra Jane. 2002. “Praxis and Practice: The ‘What, How and Why’ of the UK Environmental Direct Aaction Movement in the 1990s.” PhD diss., University of Wales.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Preston, Ted. 2004. “Environmental Vvalues, Pluralism, and Stability”. Ethics, Place & Environment 7(1–2): 7383.

  • Reay, Diane. 2010. “From the Theory of Practice to the Practice of Theory: Working with Bourdieu in Research in Higher Education Choice.” In Cultural Analysis and Bourdieu’s Legacy: Settling Accounts and Developing Alternatives, ed. Elizabeth Bortolaia Silva and Alan Warde, 7586. London: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rigby, Andrew. 1974. Alternative Realities: A study of Communes and Their Members. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

  • Rosen, Paul, Peter Cox, and David Horton. 2007. Cycling and Society. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate.

  • Sale, Kirkpatrick. 1985. Dwellers in the Land: The Bioregional Vision. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books.

  • Scarce, Rik. 1990. Eco-warriors: Understanding the Radical Environmental Movement. Chicago: Noble Press.

  • Silva, Elizabeth Bortolaia, and Alan Warde. 2010. Cultural Analysis and Bourdieu’s Legacy: Settling Accounts and Developing Alternatives. London: Routledge.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Smith, Mick. 1997. “Against the Enclosure of the Ethical Commons”. Environmental Ethics 19(4): 339353.

  • Smith, Mick. 2001. An Ethics of Place: Radical Ecology, Postmodernity, and Social Theory. Albany: State University of New York Press.

  • Szerszynski, Bronislaw. 1993. “Uncommon Ground: Moral Discourse, Foundationalism and the Environmental Movement.” PhD diss., University of Lancaster.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tilly, Charles. 2004. Social Movements, 1768–2004. Boulder, CO: Paradigm.

  • Tomalin, Emma. 2009. Biodivinity and Biodiversity: The Limits to Religious Environmentalism. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate.

  • Wagner, Sigmund A. 1997. Understanding Green Consumer Behaviour: A Qualitative Cognitive Approach. London: Routledge.

  • Wenger, Etienne. 1998. Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, and Identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Zald, Mayer N., and John D. McCarthy. 1987. Social Movements in an Organizational Society: Collected Essays. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 204 176 8
Full Text Views 28 12 4
PDF Downloads 16 8 2