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How Do Ordinary Swiss People Represent and Engage with Environmental Issues? Grappling with Cultural Repertoires

Philip Balsiger, Jasmine Lorenzini & Marlyne Sahakian

Résumé This paper studies how ordinary people in Switzerland represent and engage with environmental issues in daily practices. Bringing together conceptual developments in cultural sociology and social practice theory, the paper argues that cultural repertoires strongly shape how representations and forms of engagement play out. It identifies two main repertoires of social and environmental change: adaptation and transformation. The adaptation repertoire is reformist and aligned with individualism and the capitalist growth-paradigm; the transformation repertoire consists of a critique of the market society and calls for systemic change. Using qualitative in-depth interviews and a random survey of residents of Western Switzerland, the analyses show that most people’s representations and engagements with environmental issues relate to the dominant repertoire of adaptation, which appears to be very compatible with existing social practices. Although people hint at limits to the adaptation repertoire, only very few of our study participants relate to the transformative repertoire.
   
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Citation Balsiger, P., Lorenzini, J., & Sahakian, M. (2019). How Do Ordinary Swiss People Represent and Engage with Environmental Issues? Grappling with Cultural Repertoires. Sociological Perspectives, 62(5), 794-814.
   
Type Article de périodique (Anglais)
Date de publication 18-6-2019
Nom du périodique Sociological Perspectives
Volume 62
Numéro 5
Pages 794-814