A reflexive look at reflexivity in environmental sociology
2017 (English)In: Environmental Sociology, ISSN 2325-1042, Vol. 3, no 1, 6-16 p., Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Reflexivity is a central concept in environmental sociology, as in environmental social science in general. The concept is often connected to topics such as modernity, governance, expertise, and consumption. Reflexivity is presented as a means for taking constructive steps towards sustainability as it recognizes complexity, uncertainty, dilemmas, and ambivalence. Critical discussion of the conceptual meaning and usage of reflexivity is therefore needed. Is it a useful theoretical concept for understanding various sustainability issues? Is ‘more reflexivity’ relevant and useful advice that environmental sociologists can give in communicating with other disciplines, policymakers, and practitioners? This article explores the conceptual meaning of reflexivity and assesses its relevance for environmental sociology. In particular, it reviews its usages in three research fields; expertise, governance, and citizen-consumers. The paper furthermore discusses the spatial and temporal boundaries of reflexivity. It concludes by discussing how the concept can be a useful analytical concept in environmental sociology, at the same time as it warns against an exaggerated and unreflexive use of the concept.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2017. Vol. 3, no 1, 6-16 p.,
Reflexivity, environmental governance, expertise, citizen, consumer
Research subject Sociology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-54286DOI: 10.1080/23251042.2016.1237336OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-54286DiVA: diva2:1062458