Engaging with Human Identity in Social-Ecological Systems: A Dialectical Approach

Ingalls, Micah; Stedman, Richard (2017). Engaging with Human Identity in Social-Ecological Systems: A Dialectical Approach. Human ecology review, 23(1), pp. 45-64. Society for Human Ecology 10.22459/HER.23.01.2017.03

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Vexing problems of global environmental change call for better conceptual and analytical approaches for understanding human behaviors, factors influencing these behaviors, and the causal pathways through which these shape social and environmental outcomes. While human identity meanings provide key analytic objects in the interrogation of these dynamics, identity-based research has been truncated by a historic overemphasis on social factors and a lack of critical engagement with the ecological context of these processes.Adapting Giddens’s concept of structuration, we draw on recent advances in social-ecological systems scholarship and human structural ecology to propose a new conceptual approach for understanding human identity processes and their relation to social-ecological structure. Resituating the human person within complex social-ecological systems, we suggest some causal pathways through which ecological (in addition to social) elements are active in the emergence of human identity and, conversely, the ways in which identity-based behaviors interact dialectically with social-ecological structure to produce outcomes significant along both social and ecological dimensions. Finally, we explore some implications of this reframing for the interrogation of society-nature dynamics and for empirical research engaging with social-ecological change and resilience.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

UniBE Contributor:

Ingalls, Micah

ISSN:

1074-4827

Publisher:

Society for Human Ecology

Language:

English

Submitter:

Stephan Schmidt

Date Deposited:

30 Jun 2020 14:43

Last Modified:

30 Jun 2020 14:43

Publisher DOI:

10.22459/HER.23.01.2017.03

Uncontrolled Keywords:

identity, social-ecological systems, structural human ecology, structuration

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.144361

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/144361

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