Although governments and non-governmental organisations have built numerous guidelines, indicators and policies on the sustainable use of natural resources, there is little evidence how citizens or entrepreneurs receive and integrate this knowledge into their practices: it does not automatically turn into action. Instead, the actual environmental literacy and activity are shaped in the actors’ varying cultural and social practices which are also gendered.
This research examines the relationship between the everyday practices of local actors and the institutional bodies of knowledge on sustainable uses of natural resources. It aims (1) to build understanding about the social and material shaping of environmental agency by paying attention to gender and other social differences, (2) to map the forms of environmental literacy on whose basis environmental knowledge becomes applicable to local actors in their everyday practices and (3) to explore the social organization of institutional knowledge on the environment. These issues are studied most importantly in the contexts of food and forestry.
The practices of the local people, non-governmental organisations and forestry actors will be examined as will be policies (national, EU, global), the codes of conduct of companies, indicators and texts from newspapers and Internet debates. The research methods include memory work, participatory observation, interviews, analysis of accounts produced in a national writing contest, and text analysis. The research project collaborates with the Academy of Finland Research Fellow project Gendered Agency and Technology Mediated Nature (Vehviläinen), the University of Tampere and the Post Doctoral Research Fellow Project Ecology meets citizen at the logging site: A case study on the integration of nature conservation and biological knowledge into forestry practices, Finnish Environment Institute (Peltola).Person in charge: Marja VehviläinenSchool of Social Sciences and HumanitiesFI-33014 University of Tampere