FREE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY - Dissertations, online materials

Pages:     | 1 |   ...   | 7 | 8 || 10 | 11 |   ...   | 56 |

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

-- [ Page 9 ] --

Because I aim to explore and describe this worldview ethnographically, I approach it with an exploratory and open approach, rather than departing from a narrowly defined understanding of what an integrative worldview is. Hereby I build forth on the broad definition as offered by Benedikter and Molz (2011, who use the term "neo-integrative") of a worldview that attempts “to reconcile spirituality with rationality, with the goal of building a more balanced worldview at the heart of Western civilization than the ones we have had so far.” I choose the label integrative over terms like integral and integrated, as this worldview appears to be characterized by a central aspiration and concern to integrate different (and what are frequently perceived as opposing or even mutually exclusive) aspects or domains of reality, rather than necessarily perfectly succeeding at this. In other words, the term integrative—in contrast with integral and integrated—explicates that this worldview is characterized by the aspiration to integrate rather than the achievement of doing so, while simultaneously conceptualizing the project and process of integration as a moving target that is potentially never fully finished or fulfilled (e.g. there is always more to integrate in our complex, multidimensional reality).23 I also 23 In the words of Boersema (2009): “…statements on environmental issues often suggest that that the word ‘integrated’ means ‘covering all aspects’—although this is in fact usually a hollow pretence. In practice, it is rarely possible to integrate all relevant aspects in a project or method, if only because time or manpower restrictions make choices inevitable. On closer 35 prefer the term integrative above the term holistic, as it emphasizes the process of differentiation-integration in contrast with potential connotations of an emphasis on wholeness achieved through a reversing of the differentiation process (e.g., of the secular and religious spheres, which, as Campbell (2007) has argued, may be one of the foremost negative implications of the ‘New Age’ movement becoming increasingly dominant in postmodern society, as I discuss in detail in chapter six).

Next to using the term integrative in the context of this newly emerging worldview, I also use the term in the context of describing my methodology, which I refer to as an ‘integrative, mixed methods’ approach. This approach, as will be described in detail in section 1.5, is associated with integrative research worldviews and philosophies (such as pragmatism, critical realism, integral theory), which explicitly attempt to integrate and synthesize (post)positivism and social constructivism, and quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Third, I use the term in the context of the ‘Integrative Worldview Framework’ (IWF), which can be seen as an evolving worldview-theory and framework that runs as a common thread through this dissertation. I use the term integrative here because the IWF is directed toward the inclusion and coordination of a pluralism of worldview-structures and their constitutive aspects into a unified framework, thus aspiring to understand worldviews in themselves as well as the societal worldview-dynamics they necessarily interface with in a rather comprehensive manner.

The ways these three distinct uses of the term integrative are interrelated is as follows: both methodology (‘integrative, mixed methods-approach’) and theory-development (‘Integrative Worldview Framework’) are logically related to my research worldview as described in section 1.3.1, which is inspired by integrative philosophies such as critical realism and integral theory (and can thus be said to bear resemblance to the emerging, integrative worldview as described notably in chapter seven). The multiple uses of the term integrative thus reflect my aspiration for logical coherence and consistency between research inspection, then, ‘integrated’ approaches usually turn out not to be ‘fully integrated’ in the absolute sense of the phrase, but ‘more integrated’, usually signifying that the analysis includes a few more factors than earlier approaches. This process may repeat itself, leading to greater and greater ‘integrative’ scope, but the concept may well lose some of its meaning along the way” (p. 335).

36 worldview, methodology, and theory development. The possible ‘worldviewbias’ potentially resulting from this is discussed in section 9.1.3.

1.4 Focus and scope of the study: Research aim and questions Having introduced the larger background, context, and key terms, I will now elaborate on the focus and scope of this study, outlining the central research questions that inform the inquiry. The main research question is formulated as follows: How can worldviews and their interface with goals and issues of sustainable development be conceptualized, investigated, and understood, and how can these insights be applied to policy and practice aimed at more sustainable societies? This question can be broken down in five major sub-aims, which I will discuss below.

1.4.1 Understanding the nature of worldviews First, the aim of this study is to generate understanding into the nature of worldviews. Although the concept of worldview seems to be increasingly appealed to in the climate change and sustainable development-debates (see e.g.

Hulme, 2009; O' Brien et al., 2010), its nature remains controversial: the notion is debated and used in a variety of ways and contexts, and its connotations change over time and along with the evolving content of worldviews (Naugle, 2002). Moreover, it is still unclear how the concept can best be systematically thematized and operationalized. This is important for the (mostly socialscientific) research that is being conducted into worldviews, as well as in the context of more practical concerns, for example how to take up the task and challenge of the worldview reflection, exploration, and remediation that is frequently argued for. Thus, there appears to be a conceptual, empirical, and practical need for more clarity on the nature of worldviews. I have chosen to approach this aim by offering a historical perspective on the concept (see chapter two). Since the notion of worldview originated in the field of philosophy (Naugle, 2002), the first question this study addresses is how worldviews have been understood and conceptualized in the history of philosophy. In this inquiry, special attention is paid to the different features and aspects that characterize worldviews, according to the investigated philosophers. Related to that is the 37 question of why worldviews are important in the context of global environmental issues. Or, in other words: what in the nature of worldviews makes them relevant in the context of sustainable development?

1.4.2 Empirically researching the structure of worldviews Another important aim of this study is to generate insight into how to empirically investigate the somewhat


and comprehensive concept of worldview, notably in the context of a lack of scientific theory with respect to the concept (Koltko-Rivera, 2004). As some authors have argued, precisely because of its overarching nature, the concept of worldview may have the potential to function as an integrative framework with which to investigate the interaction of beliefs, values, attitudes, and potentially lifestyles and behaviors (K. A. Johnson et al., 2011; Koltko-Rivera, 2004). In the first place, it is useful to know how worldviews have been explored by existing approaches. In chapter three I therefore conduct a literature review, summarizing and analyzing multiple survey-approaches from a range of disciplinary and theoretical traditions that explore worldviews vis-à-vis sustainable behaviors and lifestyles. On the basis of this meta-analysis, I draw conclusions about how to (more) optimally investigate worldviews, emphasizing the need for a more comprehensive and systematic operationalization of worldviews exploring structural worldview-beliefs, as well as for a dynamic (rather than binary) understanding of the different co-existing worldviews. In the study of worldviews, Koltko-Rivera (2004) distinguishes between dimensional approaches, which emphasize the aspects or dimensions within worldviews, and categorical approaches, which emphasize the categories of, or content-differences between, worldviews. I attempt to address worldviews comprehensively by including both: that is, the different aspects (dimensions) of worldviews, as well as the ways different worldviews give shape and meaning to these aspects (categories). Although the conceptual and methodological foundation for empirically investigating worldviews is laid in chapter three, insights about how to understand and investigate worldviews iteratively emerge and are further explored and developed throughout the different phases of this dissertation, resulting in an evolving worldview-heuristic: the Integrative Worldview Framework (IWF).

38 1.4.3 Exploring various worldviews and their relevance for sustainable development A third aim of this dissertation is to explore existing worldviews, and the extent to, and ways in which, they are relevant for goals and issues of sustainable development. In this way, I hope to give a basic overview of the major worldviews in the current cultural landscape in the contemporary West, and their interface with sustainability-issues.

Using the IWF and its operationalization of the construct of worldview into five aspects as described in chapters two and three, I develop in chapter four a survey that explores individuals’ worldviews, environmental attitudes, and sustainable lifestyles. On the basis of the analysis of the data generated through this survey (based on a representative sample of the Dutch public at large), distinct clusters of worldviews were found, which fairly consistently correlated with environmental attitudes and sustainable lifestyles. These result show that certain worldviews indeed correlate significantly with pro-environmental attitudes and sustainable lifestyles, whether others display much less sustainable tendencies across the board. The eminent contemporary philosopher Charles Taylor’s theorizing about the post-Romantic cultural current in our contemporary cultural landscape, in combination with the empirically grounded Self-Determination-Theory (SDT) of positive psychology, provide an analytical frame for understanding the different worldviews and their tendencies in terms of environmental attitudes and sustainable behaviors.

1.4.4 Deepening insight into worldviews with particular potentials for sustainable development After having formed a broad overview of the existing worldviews in the Netherlands and their interface with sustainable development, a fourth aim of this study is to gain in-depth insight into worldviews that appear to have particular potential for sustainable development. Building forth on the quantitative survey-data, I now ‘zoom in’ on the worldviews that are likely able to contribute to social-cultural change in the direction of more sustainable societies and lifestyles, attempting to generate a more detailed, in-depth understanding of these worldviews and their affinity with, and potential for, sustainability-issues. As the results of the survey demonstrated, several cultural 39 phenomena—such as the culture of contemporary spirituality, the contemporary emphasis on inner growth and self-exploration, and the emphasis on nature experience and connectedness—appear to be of particular interest in this context. In chapter five, I therefore report in-depth interviews with individuals conducive to a more ‘spiritual’ experience of nature, illuminating their understanding and experience of both nature and spirituality, and offering an intimate insiders-perspective into it. In this way, I generate ethnographic insight into contemporary nature spirituality and its positive relationship to sustainable development. In chapter six, I aim to generate insight into the culture of contemporary spirituality and investigate both its potentials and its pitfalls for sustainable development. This question is engaged by a review of the sociological literature on the “New Age,” and shows that there appear to be more ‘monistic’ or ‘de-differentiative’ as well as more ‘integrative’ tendencies within this widespread, eclectic, cultural movement. The more integrative tendencies seem to point at, and push for, the emergence of a more integrative understanding of the role of spirituality in contemporary life as well as of reality in general, and appear to be related to a more integrative worldview. In chapter seven, I focus on the central beliefs, feelings, and practices associated with this integrative worldview. I do this through in-depth interviews with ‘integrative environmental leaders,’ exploring the different aspects of these individuals’ worldviews. I also aim to clarify how the premises of this worldview appear to translate into a social imaginary of a sustainable society, that is, a (new) vision on how to understand and approach sustainability issues, potentially resulting in new practices and policies.

1.4.5 Applying insights into worldviews to sustainability policy and practice Lastly, this study aims to translate the generated insights into worldviews to sustainability policies and practices. While the former chapters demonstrate that worldviews are relevant for sustainability goals, practices, and policies, so far no insight is given into how to pragmatically use these understandings. This task is therefore taken up in chapter eight, where I synthesize the gathered insight into an expanded articulation and understanding of the IWF. This heuristic framework is then applied to policy-making and communication, with the aim of unpacking how it can serve as a 1) heuristic for cultural and psychological selfreflexivity; 2) analytical tool for understanding worldview-dynamics in society;

and 3) scaffolding for effective climate communications and solutions. In this, I use the literatures on, particularly, reflexive policy-making, climate communications, and framing.

1.4.6. Summing up: The research questions

Thus, one can translate these five sub-aims to the following research questions:

1. What is the nature of worldviews? (See chapter 2)

a) How have worldviews been understood and conceptualized by philosophers over the ages?

b) Which features and aspects characterize worldviews, according to these philosophers?

c) What in the nature of worldviews makes them relevant in the context of goals and issues of sustainable development?

Pages:     | 1 |   ...   | 7 | 8 || 10 | 11 |   ...   | 56 |

Similar works:

«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...»

«SCOUTS-L COLD WEATHER CAMPING & KLONDIKE DERBYS Date: Tue, 31 Oct 1995 21:14:00 MST From: Chris Haggerty, Sierra Vista, Arizona CHAGGERTY@BPA.ARIZONA.EDU Subject: Winter Camping Below is a list of items I picked up from a winter camp awareness program done by the O-A in San Francisco. This list is about 15 years old, please keet that in mind (newer material are available). I have added some comments at the end and have used this with our scouts when we go camping in the mountains in the...»

«The Effect of Early Rearing Experience on Adult Reproductive Behavior in Captive Giant Pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) and Spectacled Bears (Tremarctos ornatus) A Thesis Presented to The Academic Faculty by Pei Sun In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Science in Psychology Georgia Institute of Technology November 2004 The Effect of Early Rearing Experience on Adult Reproductive Behavior in Captive Giant Pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) and Spectacled Bears...»

«• 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...»

«The Cob Builders Handbook You Can Hand-Sculpt Your Own Home Table Of Contents:  Acknowledgements and Warning INTRODUCTION What is cob? Why build with cob?DESIGNING YOUR HOME SWEET HOME! Things to do to get ready Think Small Think Rounded Make the Most of the Climate Design with passive solar access in mind Other things to think about when designing One Story or More? Noise Plan for Future Additions Now Designing the Entrance Buttresses Permits CHOOSING YOUR SITE Here's a list of some things...»

«COGNITIVE SCIENCE 8, 1-26 (1984) Discrimination Nets as Psychological Models* LAWRENCE W. BARSALOU Emory University GORDON H. B O W E R Stanford University Simulations of human cognitive processes often employ discrimination nets to model the access of permanent memory. We consider two types of discrimination netsEPAM and positive-property-only netsand argue that they have insufficient psychological validity. Their deficiencies arise from negative properties, insufficient sensitivity to the...»

«Organisatorisk segmentering i de danske kommuner: Har Strukturreformen haft en effekt?Abstract: Dette paper behandler spørgsmålet om, hvilken betydning den danske Strukturreform anno 2007 har haft for den organisatoriske segmentering i de nydannede kommuner. Inspireret af henholdsvis historisk og rationel nyinstitutionalistisk teori opstilles to konkurrerende forventninger til Strukturreformens effekter. Først argumenteres der for, at Strukturreformen har givet kommunerne en unik mulighed...»

«Begin Reading Table of Contents Copyright Page In accordance with the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, the scanning, uploading, and electronic sharing of any part of this book without the permission of the publisher constitute unlawful piracy and theft of the author’s intellectual property. If you would like to use material from the book (other than for review purposes), prior written permission must be obtained by contacting the publisher at permissions@hbgusa.com. Thank you for your support of...»

«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...»

«Chief of Engineers Environmental Advisory Board (EAB) Public Meeting Summary Minutes 27 April 2016 Washington, DC 1. CALL TO ORDER Ms. Mindy Simmons, the Designated Federal Officer (DFO), called the Chief of Engineers Environmental Advisory Board (EAB) meeting to order at 9:00 AM on 27 April 2016 at the Marriott Residence Inn Washington DC Downtown, 1199 Vermont Avenue NW, Washington, DC, Rollin Hotchkiss, Chairman, presiding. Ms. Simmons read for the record that the EAB was created by the...»

«ODYSSEY OFTHE MIND SPONTANEOUS PROBLEM SOLVING SPONTANEOUS PROBLEMS Verbal Hands -On Hands -On Verbal VERBAL In a Verbal spontaneous problem, the team is given a brainstorming-type problem to solve in a specific amount of time and scored according to he number and creativity of responses generated. The order in which members respond is usually random, and a higher point value is awarded for a creative answer than a common one. Examples: Name uses for a jack-o-lantern after Halloween. Name...»

«Megha Bhatt et al, International Journal of Computer Science and Mobile Computing, Vol.4 Issue.4, April2015, pg. 75-80 Available Online at www.ijcsmc.com International Journal of Computer Science and Mobile Computing A Monthly Journal of Computer Science and Information Technology ISSN 2320–088X IJCSMC, Vol. 4, Issue. 4, April 2015, pg.75 – 80 REVIEW ARTICLE Internet as Influencing Variable in Child’s Socialization: A Review Megha Bhatt*, Yogendra Bhatt** * DST-Women Scientist, Department...»

<<  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.