A Complex Systems Approach to the Exploration of Environmental Ideologies
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Understanding that the current socio-ecological challenges create a need for large scale technological, institutional and ideological changes, this research explores environmental ideologies. Starting with a review of literature into ideologies, emerging research into ideologies from complex systems theorists, and studies into environmental ideologies to illuminate ways to investigate environmental ideologies as complex representational adaptive systems. Environmental ideologies in Canada are used to target the study through a review of environmental literature, questionnaires of environmental students and experts, and discourse analysis of annual reports and about sections from major environmental organizations. These results were used to create cognitive affective maps and state space descriptions for seven environmental ideologies: market liberalism, environmental conservatism, institutionalism, bioenvironmentalism social greens, religious environmentalism, and ecologism. Despite some concerns around sampling for the questionnaires, these results highlighted key aspects of environmentalism as a major ideology, three categories of sub-ideologies and the ways that the above ideologies interact at the periphery. Finally, it is argued that the public communication from Canada’s large environmental organizations reflect an institutionalist environmentalism.
Cite this work
Justin Williams (2017). A Complex Systems Approach to the Exploration of Environmental Ideologies. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/12504