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Ambivalence in environmental representation: A theoretical contribution
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9274-3634
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7215-2623
2018 (English)In: Sociologisk forskning, ISSN 0038-0342, Vol. 55, no 4, p. 447-465Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this paper, we examine the phenomenon of representation through the theoretical lens of ambivalence, concentrating on the people involved in representation: representatives. We argue that the theoretical concept of ambivalence can be helpful in analysing and understanding the various tensions environmental and other representatives encounter in their practice. Based on the concepts of “sociological ambivalence”, “ideological dilemma”, and “the organizational centaur”, as well as on insights from social studies of science and sustainability studies, the paper develops a typology of three potential sources of ambivalence: role conflicts, value conflicts, and conflicts between goals and means. In addition, the paper identifies various ways of coping with ambivalence, including the construction of meta-norms, organizational and network support, pragmatism, drawing boundaries for reasonable and acceptable actions, rule bending and discursive negotiation. The paper concludes that the concept of ambivalence adds crucial insights to the positions, practices, and challenges of environmental representatives and notes that ambivalence is not only a matter of tensions and conflicts but can be a source of reflexivity, learning, and agency.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Annelöv, Sweden: Sveriges sociologförbund , 2018. Vol. 55, no 4, p. 447-465
Keywords [en]
Representatives, coping, environment, organization, dilemma, sustainability, uncertainty
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-71713ISI: 000456441400002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-71713DiVA, id: diva2:1281810
Available from: 2019-01-23 Created: 2019-01-23 Last updated: 2020-01-29Bibliographically approved

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Ambivalence in environmental representation: A theoretical contribution

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Uggla, YlvaBoström, Magnus

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Citation style
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