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Smith, Steven, 2009. Human interaction in the Swedish biogas sector : an arena for change. Second cycle, A1E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



The aim of this thesis is to investigate the role of human interaction in defining, shaping, and
continuously re-shaping interpretations towards the biogas phenomenon in Sweden. This
investigation was conducted via two forms of inquiry. First, a theoretical inquiry was
conducted which was grounded in the principles of symbolic interactionism. The purpose of
this inquiry was to create a theoretical framework that can be applied to better understand the
phenomenon of human interaction. Second, an empirical inquiry was conducted based on
participatory research that involved direct interaction with actors working within the Swedish
biogas context. The empirical inquiry provided the opportunity to present concrete, tangible
results regarding the role of human interaction in the biogas sector, and was based on my own
direct participation in the Swedish biogas-context. This theoretical-empirical framework
(created through the two forms of inquiry) was established through a somewhat interdependent
process; that is, the underlying theoretical framework was used as a reference point from which
to conduct the empirical inquiry, while the theory itself was derived with empirical results and
observations in mind. As such, each form of inquiry served to support and complement the

A main component of both inquiries was to investigate the role symbols play during
interaction. Key symbols that were observed during biogas-related interaction were outlined
and discussed. A discussion was also provided regarding the role these symbols played in
facilitating shared meaning and cooperation amongst the actors, as well as their role in
learning, perspective change and knowledge creation. To complement these empirical
observations, a personal account of how direct interaction in the Swedish biogas sector has
shifted my own perspective towards the biogas phenomenon was also provided.

Main title:Human interaction in the Swedish biogas sector
Subtitle:an arena for change
Authors:Smith, Steven
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2009
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A1E
Student's programme affiliation:NG001 Environmental Communication and Management - Magister (1year master) Programme 60 HEC
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:interaction, biogas, symbols, environmental communication
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Renewable energy resources
Processing of agricultural wastes
Social sciences, humanities and education
Deposited On:21 Jul 2009 11:45
Metadata Last Modified:20 Apr 2012 14:09

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