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Stolz, Carina Julia, 2020. Intentional communities as drivers of societal change towards sustainability? : understanding community advocates' social representations of change. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



With societies all over the world being faced with severe global environmental crises, profound changes in societal systems are required. Many actors in the field of sustainability transitions attribute an essential role to intentional communities. This study explores how community advocates engaged in intentional communities conceptualize and envision pathways for societal change towards sustainability. Social representations of change held by community advocates from different European countries are investigated. The findings identify two representations of change: One focused on exploring sustainable practices and one centred on facilitating inner change. Community advocates supporting the representation of exploring sustainable practices appear to hold contradicting views, which might result in a lack of action and avoidance of the issue. In comparison, community advocates emphasizing the need for inner change seem to have rather consistent views, which might make it easier for them to engage in community action in practice. Overall, this study contributes to a better understanding of the role of intentional communities as drivers of societal change towards sustainability, and offers valuable insights for transition work.

Main title:Intentional communities as drivers of societal change towards sustainability?
Subtitle:understanding community advocates' social representations of change
Authors:Stolz, Carina Julia
Supervisor:Fischer, Anke
Examiner:Joosse, Sofie
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2020
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM026 Environmental communication and management - Master's programme
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:societal change, sustainability transitions, intentional communities, social representations, sustainable practices, inner change
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Rural sociology and social security
Deposited On:15 Dec 2020 11:42
Metadata Last Modified:16 Dec 2020 02:00

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