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Title: Communities of practice : embodiment, affiliation and community-led pro-environmental behaviour
Author: McCafferty, Melissa Rachael
ISNI:       0000 0004 5372 9700
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2015
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There is seemingly no panacea to encourage Pro-Environmental Behaviour (PEB) however, a viable option consistently points to communities as drivers of change. The focus on individuals as targets of change has been a futile endeavour with negligible results, which has provided the impetus for research into community-led PEB. Various types of communities exist and this thesis is concerned with Communities of Practice (CoP). The CoP framework is used to analyse the success of three communities in Northern Ireland who actively promote PEB in various capacities. The research aimed to develop the CoP framework for this analysis through the use of sensitising concepts, which helped the framework to regain its analytic ability. Using place attachment, social capital and social learning as conceptual lenses to look at the communities provided specific themes relevant to PEB and community whilst encapsulating the dimensions of the CoP framework, giving them explanatory power. The research was conducted using qualitative methods to gain a deep understanding of individual biographies, the role the community plays in their life and vice versa, and finally to understand the reasons for the successful promotion of PEB in their community. The research identifies the need for bridging and linking social capital in addition to the strong bonding social capital demonstrable in the communities, but more importantly, the need for bridging capital to bring together heterogeneous communities as opposed to homogenous communities. Accessing bridging and linking social capital relies heavily on pro-active agents who have the support and capacity to do so, which should come from both the community and Government bodies. The embodiment of the practice, and social learning, helped members form an identity that affiliated them with the rest of the community, thus impacting positively on their participation. The impetus for participation was strongly affected by place attachment, which became heightened as members became more embedded in the community through practice. The place of attachment was seemingly a determinant of the level of PEB displayed in each community. Further research which takes a broader political economy of learning approach is needed to understand the roles of both voluntary, private and public sectors in helping to promote PEB via CoP's. Taking such an approach will better inform policy making to ensure communities are receiving adequate support to maintain their efforts and promote PEB on a wider scale.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available