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Title: Enacting change with renewable energy : a situational analysis of Udny's Community Turbine and Trust : towards an ecological sociology
Author: Robertson, Laurie Lee
ISNI:       0000 0004 7431 984X
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2018
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Energy is part of everyday life and renewable energy technologies are increasingly becoming part of our lived environments. Social scientists are responding to renewable energy technologies by investigating what people think about wind turbines (Aitken, 2010; Pasqualetti, 2011a, 2011b) and the distribution of community benefits (Cowell et al, 2011; Bristow et al 2012). This thesis adds to this body of research by describing Udny's renewable energy project and its capacity to effect change. More specifically, I examine what this community-owned wind turbine does with other situational elements to transform life within the community. Using the cartographic methods developed by Adele E. Clarke (2005), I map out the situation by drawing out the elements – this includes objects, people, organisations and discursive practices – and tracing their relations. Thinking sociologically about situational elements and their relational effects provokes a move towards ecological sociology and re-imagines social life as the effect of interconnected entities, such as materials and meanings, thoughts and actions, people and objects (Morton, 2007, 2010). Mapping the interconnectedness of societal ecologies depicts social life as neither distinct from the natural world (Catton and Dunlap, 1978, 1980) nor symmetrical with natures (Callon, 1986; Akrich and Latour, 1992; Asdal, 2008) but, rather, as part of relationally emergent ecologies. Udny's community renewable energy project illustrates the relational emergence of a social ecology, as the turbine and trust work with existing and emergent entities to enact change (Barad, 2007; Harman, 2009; Bennett, 2010; Morton, 2010, 2016). It is by doing things together that situational elements transform life within Udny (Clarke, 2005; Yusoff, 2013).
Supervisor: Stewart, Janet ; McKinnon, Andrew Sponsor: University of Aberdeen
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Wind turbines ; Social ecology ; Udny Community Trust Co. ; Udny Community Wind Turbine Co.