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Environmental Publics

How do ordinary people think about the environment as they go about their daily lives? Does thinking about the environment make them do things differently? This book is the first to explore the idea of 'environmental publics', that is, the ways in which ordinary people engage with environmental issues across different practical contexts of work, play and home. Emphasising the practices of 'environmental engagement', Environmental Publics examines how people consume the environment, learn about it, campaign for its protection and enjoy it through their leisure time. But the book avoids relying on idealisations of 'consumers' or 'citizens', or theoretical constructs about behavioural norms that have traditionally dominated research in this field. Instead, this book differentiates environmental publics not by who they are but by what they are doing - their daily practices. It also analyses specifically the geographies of those practices, that is, how what people do affects the environment but in different ways across time and space and at different scales - aspects of practices that are neglected in the literature. With an interdisciplinary perspective, this book will be of interest to students and scholars in geography, sociology, science and technology studies, political science and anthropology. It is written in an accessible and readable style, so as to be useful for preliminary and more advanced courses in environmental management, perception and policy, as well as in studies of modern society, consumption and environmentalism.
Product Details

Table of Contents

List of figures List of tables Acknowledgements 1 Differentiating environmental publics Introduction Publics in environmental practice Practices and power in place Disciplinary differences The structure of this book References 2 Knowing publics Introduction Knowledge-practices Place and scale in knowledge-practices Power Summing up Notes References 3 Participating publics Introduction Practices Place Power Summing up References 4 Consuming publics Introduction Practices Place Power Summing up Notes References 5 Enjoying publics Introduction Practices of environmental recreation Learning and sharing environmental recreational practices Moralising practices of environmental recreation Place Power Summing up Note References 6 Campaigning publics Introduction Practices Place Power Summary Notes References 7 Voting publics Introduction Place Power Summing up Notes References 8 Working publics Introduction Practices Place Power Summing up Notes References 9 Conclusions Introduction Linking practices Geographies of environmental publics Material and virtual publics Changing practices Summing up References Index

About the Author

Sally Eden was a professor in the Department of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences at the University of Hull, UK. She spent twenty years researching how people relate to the environment through consumption, leisure, knowledge and policy.


'The public' is not one thing and their engagements with the environment take multiple forms. This book brilliantly takes these simple ideas into a fascinating account of how environmental publics know, participate, consume, enjoy, campaign, vote and work. Drawing together 20 years of her top quality research, readers of this book will have the privilege of immersing themselves in Sally Eden's incisive analysis and accessible theorisation of what `environmental engagements' can be taken to mean.' Professor Gordon Walker, Lancaster Environment Centre and DEMAND Centre, Lancaster University, UK 'Through Environmental Publics, Sally Eden has cemented her position as one of the pre-eminent writers on environmental geography. Brilliantly drawing together a diverse wealth of original empirical material, she compellingly argues that studies of environmental engagement should refocus on the multiple publics that form around everyday practices. Conceptually original and insightful, the book is engagingly written and should be essential reading for anyone interested in producing better environmental futures.' Dr Christopher Bear, Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, Cardiff University, UK. Eden's book, published posthumously after her passing last year, cannot help but take more than atinge of sadness as a result; even for those, like me, who never had the chance to meet her. EnvironmentalPublics is a suitable and substantial cap to an academic career - overarching, drawing in avariety of themes and research projects; elegant, carefully and clearly setting out arguments andgathering this array of details; and accessible, well-written, engaging and simply gathering theoryand empirical evidence to make her points.Gerald Taylor Aiken, Local Environment Journal, The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability

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