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Breaking Through a Culture of Denial: Pathways to Environmental Activism in BC
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (Degree granting institution)
Justine Nelson (author)
Our society is in collective denial about the extreme threat that climate change presents to the future of our world. Capitalism creates a culture that is based on the exploitation of people and the earth for profit, and as citizens living within this culture we use denial to shield ourselves from this reality. This study contributes to the growing field of green criminology, and combines an analysis of the politics of climate change with a sociological exploration of practices of individual and collective denial and acknowledgement. Drawing on qualitative interviews with B.C. activists, the study explores the pathways of people who have moved past denial and are now participating in the diverse and multifaceted environmental movement. The ability of this movement to successfully act against climate change, and those who are allowing it to happen, will shape what kind of world we leave for the next generation. Conflict resolution, privilege, and dealing with subsequent emotions in a constructive way are identified as steps to help others break through the culture of denial and strengthen the movement.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University