My doctoral thesis explores how creating spaces for experimenting with alternate ways of seeing enables re-narration and re-experiencing of the lifeworld. It examines how transformations in worldviews can be conceptualised and develops the framework of 'following the narrative' in order to study this in practice. The empirical work was undertaken with participants in the Dark Mountain Project, a network of writers, artists and thinkers who inquire into cultural responses to social, ecological and economic crises.

You can read the individual chapters below or download the full text of the thesis here. It is written as a ‘virtual reality’ meaning that all references are hyperlinked and where the material I cite is publicly available it points to the original location online. You may want to read this short introduction to the text in which I set out a few pointers for how it can be read before you dive in.

If you read, quote, critique or find inspiration in this work I would love to hear from you.

Transforming Sustainabilities: Grassroots Narratives in an Age of Transition. An Ethnography of the Dark Mountain Project

Front matter

     Abstract, Contents, List of figures, List of tables, Acknowledgements


Chapter 1: Introduction

     Motivation and rationale behind this research

     Framing and composition of the thesis

Chapter 2: Onto-epistemological transitions towards sustainability

     Grassroots innovations for sustainable consumption

     Onto-epistemological transitions

     The rules and visions that guide environment-making

Chapter 3: Researching onto-epistemological change

     Constructing the travel guide

     Developing the case study

     Connecting the trails

Chapter 4: Beyond civilisation

     What do you do, after you stop pretending?

     Uncivilisation as a space between parallel narratives

     Changing the rules of the game

     Shifting worldview: from Logos to Mythos

     To the foothills of the mountain

     Curating and holding the conversation

     Moving beyond the realm of civilisation

     Venturing into the unknown

Chapter 5: (Re)imagining reality

     Finding community

     The reality of collapse

     Descending into the future

     Between stories

     Reworking the frames of reference

     Embodying change in creative practice

     Re-storying: the narrator of the lifeworld as a poet

Chapter 6: Embodying the future

     Re-enchantment and relationship with place

     Wild time and embodied temporalities

     Improvisation as an attitude and mode of organisation

     Craft and the vernacular

     Innovation at the level of the rules

     Down the dark mountain

Chapter 7: Conclusions

     Answering the research questions

     Re-narrating sustainabilities

     Diffusion of the rules and visions of environment-making

     Re-storying the lifeworld as journeying

     Grassroots narratives and sustainability transitions




Download the full text.

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