Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.794625
Title: Educating for the 'Anthropocene' : the meaning of politics in an age of slow violence
Author: Sutoris, Peter
ISNI:       0000 0004 8500 371X
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2020
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Abstract:
This multi-sited ethnographic study examines the interface of education and environmental activism in spaces affected by the slow violence of environmental degradation, characteristic of the current high 'Anthropocene' era. By conducting research at government schools and in their surrounding communities in Pashulok, India, and South Durban, South Africa, this study investigates the impacts of schooling and environmental activist movements on young people's 'phenomenologies of meaning-making' about the environment. Building on the work of Ricœur and Arendt, the theoretical framework illuminates the role of historical responsibility, intergenerational justice and political imagination in shaping young people's understandings of and responses to the slow violence affecting their communities locally and the planet globally. This framework is operationalised through established ethnographic methods, including observation, semi-structured and unstructured interviews, focus groups, a fieldwork diary, and through an innovative intervention of observational filmmaking workshops conducted with young people in both sites. The findings point to the depoliticising and individualising effects that bureaucratised state-run education systems in both India and South Africa have on young people's political and environmental imaginaries, specifically in relation to action and change. They suggest further that young people recognise this slow violence impacting on the environment and have ideas about the political transformation needed to achieve an environmentally sustainable future. These alternative imaginaries are in some cases shaped by the activist presence in the community, as well as educators who intentionally subvert the curriculum. Environmental activists in Pashulok and Wentworth strive to expand what Ricœur calls the 'horizons of the possible' and to foster pluralistic political action in the process of community deliberation. The study argues that educating in the Anthropocene calls for bridging schooling with elements of activism to develop what Arendt refers to as agonistic pluralism, which is necessary for finding answers to the slow violence of the Anthropocene.
Supervisor: Dillabough, Jo-Anne Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.794625  DOI:
Keywords: education ; the Anthropocene ; activism ; phenomenological analysis ; ethnography
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