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Ecological Identity Work in Higher Education: Theoretical Perspectives and a Case Study

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This paper develops and extends the concept of ecological identity work through an investigation of issues of identity among students studying the environment at one US university. We conceptualize identity work as both an individual and group process through which students locate themselves in relation to particular, relatively preformed ecological identities, while also attempting to redefine the boundaries of ecological identity itself. Using interview and participant observation data we ask what kinds of ecological identity work takes place among students and who is involved in defining and policing ecological identities. We argue that this approach can contribute to our understanding of the relationship between environmental education, philosophy and action.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Geography, Pennsylvania State University, Univesity Park, PA, USA 2: School of Geography, University of Leeds, UK

Publication date: 2005-10-01

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