Leading change from the inside-out : negotiating the psycho-social in sustainability engagement

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Klein, Kerri Ann
Environmental Engagement
Social Mobilization
Sustainability Leadership
This study explores how sustainability practitioners understand and engage with the subjective psychological dimensions of `social mobilization'. At this particular moment, there exists scant research into precisely how these dimensions are being theorized and incorporated into the practice of social mobilization, despite a growing recognition that environmental engagement necessarily involves the `inner life' of people--the complex and interconnected psycho-social influences on who we are and how we understand our world. Using a narrative methodology, I interviewed seven sustainability facilitators about how they are currently making meaning of social change and how subjectivity is represented within this. The analysis presents four distinct ways that psycho-social dimensions are being negotiated and related to in engagement work. This research indicates that being able to engage with subjectivity is not so much a technical skill that can be learned, but rather a new way of making meaning of the world, others, and oneself.
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