Narratives of Socioecological Transition

The Case of the Transition Network in Portugal

in Nature and Culture
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  • 1 University of Coimbra, Portugal veraferreira@ces.uc.pt
  • 2 University of Coimbra, Portugal amcarvalho@ces.uc.pt
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Abstract

This article explores narratives and characteristics of sociological transitions displayed by members of the Transition Network (TN) in Portugal. It is informed by scholarly work on grassroots innovations, sociological transition narratives, and environmental engagement in Portugal. It furthers this research in three ways: (1) it analyzes an original case study—the Portuguese TN; (2) it identifies and defines the various socioecological narratives conveyed by its participants; and (3) it interprets the TN's sociopolitical appeal as a grassroots innovation in the context of environmental mobilization in Portugal. Drawing on 20 semistructured interviews with current and former members of the Portuguese TN, three narratives of sociological transition were identified—utopianism, inevitability, and pessimism—as well as seven characteristics that motivated interviewees’ engagement with the TN.

Contributor Notes

Vera Ferreira is a Junior Researcher at the Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra, where she is a Member of the Research Group on Science, Economy and Society. She is currently in the research team of Project TROPO—“Anthropocenic Ontologies in Portugal: Social Movements, Public Policies and Emerging Technologies.” She is also a PhD Candidate in Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policies at the Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon. She holds a bachelor's and a master's degree in international relations (specializing in peace and security studies) from the Faculty of Economics of the University of Coimbra. Email: veraferreira@ces.uc.pt

António Carvalho holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Exeter. He currently works as a Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra, where he is the Principal Investigator of Project TROPO (2018–2021), a research project focused on the multiple ontologies of the Anthropocene in Portugal. Previously, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, NOVA University of Lisbon (IHMT/NOVA). His research interests include the Anthropocene, mindfulness, and the ethics of emerging technologies. Email: amcarvalho@ces.uc.pt

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