Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The energies of activism : rethinking agency in contemporary climate change activism
Author: Lee, Charlotte Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 2733 1344
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2013
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis is concerned with the energies of activism, and uses an exploration of the concept of ‘energy’ to rethink the agency of activism, rethinking: what counts as an act, who counts as an actor, and in particular how action is produced in activism. This process of rethinking brings recent theorising around agency more broadly, specifically in relation to non-representational theory, the more-than-human, and affect, into conversation with the practice of activism. The empirical aspect of this research involved three case studies of UK climate change activism, each of which demonstrates a particular form of activism: activism in the form of ‘direct’ action through the protest camps of Camp for Climate Action, activism as a more mundane and regular part of life through the meetings and events of a Transition Town group, and activism as a lifestyle in itself through the low-impact living and building practices of the Lammas eco-village. The methodology involved an immersive participatory approach consisting of periods of observant participation, alongside in-depth interviews with activists, the material from which was then developed into immersive narratives (Summers-Effler, 2010). These narratives aim to illuminate: the role of the more-than-human (Bennett, 2010) in the act of activism, and that emotions and affects are not simply “straightforward ‘prompts’ for activism” (Horton and Kraftl, 2009: 17) in line with emerging activism literature, but instead, alongside the human, the more-than-human, and the act of activism itself, emotions and affect are part of the ‘conditions’ (Ahmed, 2010) for action in activism. In this research, rather than action being literally and linearly produced, the potential for action emerged as a process of aligned and openness to action, and therefore always pivots on the relations between elements rather than the properties of a single element or actor.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available