FREE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY - Dissertations, online materials

Pages:     | 1 |   ...   | 3 | 4 || 6 | 7 |   ...   | 56 |

«Annick Hedlund-de Witt Worldviews and the transformation to sustainable societies An exploration of the cultural and psychological dimensions of our ...»

-- [ Page 5 ] --

Taylor, 2010). Also Ray and Anderson (2000) observed a similar shift in worldview, emphasizing the creative and sustainability potential of what they call “the cultural creatives.”9 Taylor (2010) speaks of a contemporary nature spirituality that is quickly spreading around the world and becoming increasingly important in global environmental politics. According to him, it motivates a wide array of individuals and increasingly shapes the worldviews and practices of grassroots social activists and the world’s intelligentsia: “it may even inspire the emergence of a global, civic, earth religion” (p. x). Moreover, other researchers emphasize the importance of a newly emerging integral or integrative worldview, which has affiliations with contemporary spirituality, an enhanced appreciation of nature, and a concern with sustainability issues in general, while simultaneously being characterized by an attempt to bring together and integrate spirituality and transcendence with rationality and science, rather than reducing one to the other, or cultivating one at the expense of the other (Benedikter & Molz, 2011; Esbjörn-Hargens & Wilber, 2006; EsbjörnHargens & Zimmerman, 2009; Laszlo, 2006; Van Egmond & De Vries, 2011;

Wilber, 2001, 2007). These broad changes in worldview, taking place in the contemporary West and beyond, are thus not to be neglected in attempts to create more sustainable societies, and appear to be of substantial importance for the formation and formulation of sustainability strategies, policies, and practices.

9 These ‘cultural creatives’ are, according to the researchers, turning away from materialism, hedonism, and status display, and are creating their own culture, based on ecological and planetary perspectives, emphasis on relationships and woman’s point of view, and commitment to spirituality and psychological development.

14 1.2.4 A political science perspective While global environmental protection has been on the international political agenda since the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, these efforts have not been sufficiently effective in altering the trends of humaninduced environmental degradation (Biermann et al., 2012). As many now recognize, the failure to alter these fundamental trajectories is largely due to widespread disagreement and gridlock in the global debate on contemporary sustainability challenges such as climate change (Hulme, 2009; Nisbet, 2009;

Victor, 2011). It is therefore becoming increasingly clear that the lack of agreement and the often intensely polarized perspectives this lack is based on, is itself a major, if not the major obstacle to forging robust, effective solutions and building a secure, sustainable, and flourishing ‘planetary civilization’ in the twenty-first century. As Hulme (2009) has argued, differences in worldview and culture often underlie the ubiquity of such diverging and polarized perspectives in stakeholder negotiations and public opinion, thereby hampering the cooperation and communicative action that is so urgently needed. For example, several voices have pointed out how intractable political conflicts in the U.S. are the result of ‘culture wars,’ or clashes in worldviews. It has also been asserted that diverging worldviews are at play in international conflict (see e.g. KoltkoRivera, 2004).

Worldviews not only inform how we conceptualize the issues that we are dealing with, but also our potential responses to them (Douglas & Wildavsky, 1982; Kahan et al., 2012). Different worldviews depart from fundamentally diverging assumptions concerning the nature of reality and the position of the human being in the larger whole, and as a result propose distinct and to some extent opposing solutions for responding to our sustainability issues. For example, for some individuals, solutions are to be found in the workings of the free market and the development of technology; other perspectives emphasize the need for public institutions, arrangements, and regulations (see e.g. Milfont & Duckitt, 2004; PBL, 2004). And while for example climate change is seen from one perspective as an urgent threat to human civilization, from another perspective it is a hype created by environmentalists (Hulme, 2009). However, although the divergence in perspectives and cultures clearly leads to misunderstanding, conflict, and inertia, some voices have also emphasized the 15 value of such diversity for addressing our global issues (Calicott, 2011;

UNESCO, 2002b). Precisely because of the diverse range of solutions, strategies, and perspectives that different worldviews tend to bring forth, cultural diversity can be seen as having the potential to enhance our overall capacity for adaptation and transformation (see also O' Brien, 2009).

Moreover, generally speaking environmental policy is intimately connected with, and largely dependent upon, the larger worldview-dynamics in society. That is, policies, technologies, and measures can only to a limited extent be successfully implemented without some degree of support and agreement of the larger public. Such support is largely a function and reflection of the predominant worldviews and values held by the varying cultural strands within the public sphere, as research shows that worldviews, values, and beliefs are strong predictors of policy opinion and support (Shwom, Bidwell, Dan, & Dietz, 2010). Moreover, as Inglehart and Welzel (2005) demonstrate on the basis of the WVS, the democratic institutions and responsible forms of governance that are critical components of any sustainable solution are themselves a product of cultural changes and the emergence of certain values and worldviews. That is, the empirical data of the WVS suggest that the causal arrow runs from the widespread emergence of what the researchers call ‘self-expression values’ to effective democracy, and not the other way around. Therefore, without societal support, which itself appears to be substantially informed by the worldviews prevailing in society, implementing environmental policies and strategies is likely to be stymied.

Additionally, as several authors have argued, global environmental challenges tend to become scientized, thereby concealing the ways that differences in worldviews, values, and normative frameworks fuel and inform the political disagreements surrounding these issues (Hansen, 2013; Hulme, 2009; Sarewitz, 2004). Those who advocate a certain line of political action (e.g. to act on climate change, or not, or to allow genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) on the market, or not) are likely to claim a scientific justification for their position, while those opposing the action will invoke scientific uncertainty or competing

scientific results. Sarewitz (2004) refers to this situation as an excess of objectivity:

rather than science enabling actors to resolve political disagreements, it tends to exacerbate them, as it is frequently possible to compile supporting sets of 16 scientifically legitimated facts for different—and even mutually opposing— value-based positions in an environmental controversy. This is not so because of a lack of scientific understanding, or because ‘science is not doing its job well,’ but rather because of a lack of coherence among competing, frequently equally legitimated, scientific understandings. That is, in this view, reality is sufficiently rich and complex to support a science enterprise of vast methodological, disciplinary, and institutional diversity, allowing researchers to operate within a range of different assumptions, to rely on different methods, and to use different scales of analysis. For example, based on a case-study of the Danish biofuels debate, Hansen (2013) demonstrates how two distinct scientific perspectives on biofuels originate in different disciplines and can be affiliated with different political positions. The ‘reductionistic biorefinery perspective,’ grounded in biochemistry and neighboring disciplines, works upward from the molecular level, and envisions positive synergies in the use of biomass. In contrast, the ‘holistic bioscarcity perspective,’ grounded in life-cycle analysis and ecology, works downwards from global scope conditions, and envisions negative externalities from an increased reliance on biomass (Hansen, 2013). Because the ‘scientization’ of environmental discourse tends to conceal the interests and worldviews undergirding the conflict and disagreement, bringing the valuedisputes “into the foreground of political process is likely to be a crucial factor in turning such controversies into successful democratic action” (Sarewitz, 2004, p.

399). Thus, Sarewitz emphasizes the importance of openness on how worldviews interface with the preferred positions of political actors, thereby freeing the enterprise of science itself (which currently is, according to Sarewitz, frequently concerned with “the meaningless task of reducing uncertainties pertinent to political dispute, rather than addressing societal problems as identified through open political processes” (p. 399) as well as creating a more reflexive policyprocess.

Some political scientists also contend that institutions themselves are to be understood as a result of, what Mert (2012) refers to as “sedimentation of discourses through social practices” (p. 26). Or in other words, as a result of dominant beliefs and worldviews becoming embodied and institutionalized through collective practices and norms. An awareness of the underlying, frequently implicit assumptions and value-orientations—that is, the 17 worldviews—that undergird and guide these discourses and policy-strategies, enable one to scrutinize and reflect upon them, thereby enacting more reflexive forms of governance (see e.g. Huitema et al., 2011; Voβ & Kemp, 2006) as well as increasing their democratic and deliberative quality (Hajer & Versteeg, 2005).

As PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency has argued, thinking from the perspective of diverging worldviews may help to intercept less sustainable policy strategies and detect (sometimes unexpected) transverse connections—for example between national and international stakes. Through such an approach, the perils of a single worldview can more easily be identified, supporting a more robust policy strategy and potentially bridging the differences between the diverse worldviews. The confrontation of worldviews then may form the starting point of a creative process for the seeking of syntheses and new ways of policymaking (PBL, 2004, 2008).

1.3 Philosophical foundations and discussion of key-terms

1.3.1 Worldviews and the research worldview guiding this dissertation Based on an extensive exploration of the philosophical literature, as will be described in detail in chapter two, worldviews are in this study defined as the “inescapable, overarching systems of meaning and meaning-making that to a substantial extent inform how humans interpret, enact, and co-create reality.” This definition highlights the enactive and co-creative dimension of worldviews, and emphasizes their complex, reciprocal relationships with the world(s) that they bring forth, as well as are being brought forth by. Simultaneously, this definition emphasizes that worldviews are not a patchwork of loosely related phenomena, but a coherent pattern or system that integrates seemingly isolated ideas into a common holistic structure (see also Dewitt, 2004; Inglehart & Welzel, 2005). Although a comprehensive understanding of the worldviewconcept is used in this dissertation, I primarily study worldviews as interiors, that is, on the level of ideas and assumptions, affects and perceptions, orientations and intentions, rather than analyzing how worldviews come to concrete expression in, for example, artefacts, art, music, or architecture, which can be 18 understood as the exterior forms in which worldviews can come to manifestation.

That is, any artifact or cultural expression can potentially be understood to embody worldview-beliefs and religious or cultural ideas and ideals in a material form. While my focus is on the intangible, interior dimensions of sustainable 10 development, I do explore how they come to expression in, and interface with, the more exterior and concrete dimensions, such as in sustainable behaviors, consumer choices, and political preferences. Moreover, in this dissertation worldviews are explored both from ‘within,’ that is, in the inner experience and perception of individuals themselves (in the in-depth interviews), and from ‘without,’ through analyzing the statistical patterns as found in individually scores items (in the survey-method).11 The concept of worldview may appear to be similar or even interchangeable with concepts such as ideology, paradigm, religion, and discourse, and they indeed possess some degree of referential overlap. However, worldviews can nonetheless be clearly distinguished from these concepts—a task I feel is worth taking up, in an effort to clarify the concept and articulate the philosophical foundations undergirding my understanding and usage of the term.

The concept of ideology, while elusive, can be defined broadly as a set of beliefs, values, and goals of a social or political group that explain or justify the group’s decisions and behaviors.12 While the concept of worldview conveys that the 10 While exterior forms simultaneously also inform interiors such as worldviews, as the causal arrow is more likely to be mutual rather than one-sided (see also C. Taylor, 1989).

11 The survey-method is used to construct worldviews on the basis of statistical, quantitative analyses of individual’s own perceptions and descriptions of their views and values. In that sense, the analyses of the survey-results could be seen to describe and disclose worldviews from the outside, as the observed worldview-patterns are as such not described by individuals themselves; in fact, the found worldview-factors are the result of statistical analyses grouping items together that correlate with each other.

Pages:     | 1 |   ...   | 3 | 4 || 6 | 7 |   ...   | 56 |

Similar works:

«January 2010 Wartime Rescue of Jews by the Polish Catholic Clergy The Testimony of Survivors Edited and compiled by Mark Paul Polish Educational Foundation in North America Toronto 2009 Rescue activities on behalf of Jews were carried out by priests, nuns and monks in more than one thousand Roman Catholic Church institutions throughout Poland during World War II. The number of priests and religious involved in these activities was many times higher. This effort is all the more remarkable since...»

«CARLY MCMORRIS, PH.D. PROVISIONALLY REGISTERED PSYCHOLOGIST Calgary, Alberta, Canada Canadian Citizen Telephone: (403) 220-5457 Email: camcmorr@ucalgary.ca CURRENT POSITION Assistant Professor 2016 Werklund School of Education School and Applied Child Psychology Program University of Calgary Office: EDT 508; 2500 University Drive, NW Calgary, Alberta Canada T2N 1N4 Phone: 403-220-5457 EDUCATION Ph.D. in Clinical-Developmental Psychology 2009-2015 York University, Toronto, Ontario Dissertation:...»

«YOU’RE a Grand Officer Head 2 Toe Intro As a Grand Officer YOU are expected to present yourself in a professional way at every event that you attend. This is not only important in Rainbow, but also in the professional business world. Keep that in mind!! Our Grand Officer dress code is to be used at all Rainbow functions. If you are not following the dress code, YOU will not be treated as a Grand Officer. The Mother Advisor and Grand Deputies are instructed NOT to escort you, but to introduce...»

«ADVERSITY QUOTIENT IN PREDICTING JOB PERFORMANCE VIEWED THROUGH THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE BIG FIVE MASTER THESIS MAY 2007 MASTER’S DEGREE PSYKOLOGISKE INSTITUTT UNIVERSITY OF OSLO Elizabeth Le Thi ABSTRACT The aim of the present study is to theoretically and empirically investigate a theory labeled the Adversity Quotient (AQ). Its claim of being able to predict all facets of human capacity and performance is being tested by comparing it with the more established Five Factor Model (also known as...»

«Journal of Research in Personality 40 (2006) 472–481 www.elsevier.com/locate/jrp Informant reports: A cheap, fast, and easy method for personality assessment Simine Vazire * Department of Psychology, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA Available online 21 November 2005 Abstract Despite widespread agreement that multi-method assessments are optimal in personality research, the literature is dominated by a single method: self-reports. This pattern seems to be based, at...»

«37? /Vg U /V 0, 3 * 7 9 8 IMAGERY, PSYCHOTHERAPY, AND DIRECTED RELAXATION: PHYSIOLOGICAL CORRELATES DISSERTATION Presented to the Graduate Council of the University of North Texas in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements For the Degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY By Jeffrey T. Baldridge, B.A., M.A. Denton, Texas May, 1992 37? /Vg U /V 0, 3 * 7 9 8 IMAGERY, PSYCHOTHERAPY, AND DIRECTED RELAXATION: PHYSIOLOGICAL CORRELATES DISSERTATION Presented to the Graduate Council of the University of North...»

«• HIGHLIGHTS OF PRESCRIBING INFORMATION Behavioral and mood disturbances: May Include euphoria, insomnia, mood These highlights do not include all the information needed to use Flo-Pred swings, personality changes, severe depression, and psychosis. Existing safely and effectively. See full prescribing information for Flo-Pred. conditions may be aggravated. (5.5) • Decreases in bone density: Monitor bone density in patients receiving longFlo-Pred (prednisolone acetate) Suspension for Oral...»

«Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework for the sharing of influenza viruses and access to vaccines and other benefits (PIP Framework) Questions and Answers September 2011 Contents: Page I. General 3 II. Advisory Group 4 III. Global Influenza Surveillance & Response System (GISRS) 6 IV. Pandemic Influenza Benefit Sharing 7 V. Partnership Contribution 7 VI. Standard Material Transfer Agreements 8 VII. Intellectual Property Rights 9 VIII. Influenza Virus Traceability Mechanism (IVTM) 10 This...»

«Your Benefit Guide State Vision Plan For Active Employees and Retirees Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is a nonprofit corporation and independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Welcome Welcome to your State Vision Plan, administered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) under the direction of the Michigan Civil Service Commission (MCSC). The MCSC is responsible for implementing your vision benefits and future changes in benefits. BCBSM will provide certain...»

«Making sense of antipsychotics making sense antipsychotics Making sense of antipsychotics This booklet is for anyone who wants to know more about antipsychotic medication. It explains what antipsychotics are, how they work, possible side effects and information about withdrawal. Contents What are antipsychotics? 4 Could antipsychotics help me? 11 What are the safety issues? 16 What dosage should I be on? 23 What if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding? 26 What side effects can they cause? 29 What's a...»

«Armoedeaanpak Gemeente Leeuwarden De kunst van het rondkomen Voorwoord Armoede is een onrecht. Het terugdringen van armoede is een belangrijke ambitie van dit college. Een ambitie die vele domeinen en dus portefeuilles raakt. Diverse portefeuillehouders werken aan integraal beleid voor armoedebestrijding. Daarnaast betrekken we de komende jaren nieuwe organisaties bij onze armoedeaanpak. Dat is een belangrijk speerpunt voor de komende jaren. De keuzes die we voorstellen zorgen er voor dat we...»

«Incidents in the Life of Madame Blavatsky by A.P. Sinnett Incidents in the Life of Madame Blavatsky by A.P. Sinnett Compiled from information supplied by her relatives and friends The Theosophical Publishing House, London 1913 AUTHOR'S PREFACE [Page 5] THE first edition of this book, published in 1886, was issued during Madame Blavatsky's lifetime as an indirect protest against the cruel and slanderous attack on her embodied in the Report to the Committee of the Psychical Research Society...»

<<  HOME   |    CONTACTS
2016 www.dissertation.xlibx.info - Dissertations, online materials

Materials of this site are available for review, all rights belong to their respective owners.
If you do not agree with the fact that your material is placed on this site, please, email us, we will within 1-2 business days delete him.