Socioecological Learners as Agentic: A Posthumanist Perspective.

Year: 2019

Author: M, Logan, Russell, Joshua, Khatun, Ferdousi

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Agency, or the ability to act upon others within one’s context, is central to socioecological activism. The socioecological learner, as an emergent agent, can thus begin to facilitate social, ethical, political, and environmental change. However, in this paper we challenge the traditional notion of agency and activism by moving beyond a view of human-centredness to encompass the more-than-human. We acknowledge the power imbalance not only within and between human groups but also between humans and other inhabitants of the Earth. It is pertinent in the Anthropocene era, where ecological balance is supposedly “regulated by humans” (Braidotti, 2013, p.79) and where all living organisms are impacted, to rethink activism as a solely human endeavour and to propose an alternative view that encompasses other beings. This examination first outlines Foucauldian discourse theory that illuminates the possibilities for the disruption of power structures and illustrates the role of socioecological learners as activists (McKenzie, 2006) before turning from a poststructuralist paradigm towards one rooted in posthumanism. Examples are provided to illustrate the chapter’s argument for a broader understanding of agency and activism through a posthumanist lens.