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Change Agents for Climate Change Mitigation in Urban Areas Change Agents für den städtischen Klimaschutz. Empirische Befunde und praxistheoretische Einsichten

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Within the field of interdisciplinary sustainability science, the popular concept of change agents has been only vaguely theorised. In the current debate, neither sociological theories of practice nor the level of participation required for a transformation towards sustainability are considered. On the basis of a qualitative analysis of change agents in two districts of the city of Cologne, as well as Pierre Bourdieu's theory of practice, this paper aspires to provide a sociological substantiation of the concept of change agents. The availability of social and/or economic capital, time, and a mental disposition for change are identified as prerequisites for actors to evoke social change. More than half of the analysed change agents were directly or indirectly open to sustainability issues. Here, for urban sustainable development, lies a potential to integrate actors beyond the traditional sustainability community and build on local social networks.
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Keywords: ATTITUDE-BEHAVIOUR GAP; CHANGE AGENTS; CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION IN URBAN AREAS; PARTICIPATION; SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY; SUSTAINABILITY

Language: German

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2014

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  • GAIA is a peer-reviewed inter- and transdisciplinary journal for scientists and other interested parties concerned with the causes and analyses of environmental and sustainability problems and their solutions.

    Environmental problems cannot be solved by one academic discipline. The complex natures of these problems require cooperation across disciplinary boundaries. Since 1991, GAIA has offered a well-balanced and practice-oriented forum for transdisciplinary research. GAIA offers first-hand information on state of the art environmental research and on current solutions to environmental problems. Well-known editors, advisors, and authors work to ensure the high quality of the contributions found in GAIA and a unique transdisciplinary dialogue – in a comprehensible style.

    GAIA is an ISI-journal, listed in the Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Science Citation Index and in Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences.

    All contributions undergo a double-blind peer review.

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