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Title: The role of grassroots sustainability associations in framing sustainability issues to mobilise communities for social change
Author: Bradbury, Sarah Jayne
ISNI:       0000 0004 5366 9031
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis examines how and why different grassroots sustainability associations (GSAs) frame sustainability issues to mobilise members of the community to participate in or support the association and to practice sustainably. There was limited existing literature on the role of GSAs in framing sustainability issues and how framing affects GSAs’ approach to delivering their sustainability objectives. The research for this thesis took a qualitative approach; semi-structured interviews and document research were conducted to collect data on three diverse GSAs based in the UK. Drawing on literature from social movement researchers on collective action frames it demonstrates how and why different GSAs frame sustainability issues differently. This thesis focusses on a broad range of internal processes that guide the work of GSAs, including framing processes, rather than focussing on external processes or the outcomes of the collective action of GSAs. In doing so, it makes three contributions to our knowledge of GSAs. First, this thesis increases understanding of how and why different GSAs frame sustainability issues to mobilise members of the community to participate in or support the group and to practice sustainably. Second, it provides an understanding of how the framing of sustainability issues influences the strategies and resources that GSAs use. Third, it provides a framework for understanding the collective action of GSAs that builds on previous work in the social movement literature on framing, strategies, resources, culture, and collective identity. These concepts have not previously been brought together to understand framing processes and collective action. The framework shows that when a GSA draws on one of the elements this constrains the range of other elements that can be drawn on. Therefore, GSAs are constrained in their ability to deliver sustainability. These contributions complement the literature on practice change for sustainable communities, grassroots innovations, and skills for sustainable communities.
Supervisor: Middlemiss, Lucie ; Young, William Sponsor: University of Leeds
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available