Between hope and resignation. Three collective initiatives on climate change’s understandings of agency for societal transformation.

University essay from Lunds universitet/LUCSUS

Abstract: Addressing climate change will entail groups of people working together to bring about changes in fundamental societal structures. This research investigates how the members of three collective initiatives on climate change in Sweden envision the process of change, based on their understandings of structures and agency. Margaret Archer and Pierre Bourdieu’s theorisations on this matter serve as an analytical framework, and Maja Göpel and Erik Olin Wright’s prescriptions of strategies for transformational change contextualise the participants’ strategies. From conducting focus groups, this research concludes that the organisations’ strategies lack coherent definition, yet partly reflect Göpel and Wright’s recommendations. The absence of clarity can be linked to the participants’ partial rejection of agency in the face of pervasive societal structures. These findings raise questions about the conditions that are needed for people to actively work towards the transformation of dominating neoliberal and capitalist systems.

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