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Deconstruction of Australian environmental identity in the mass immigration context summary

Basia Nikiforova

pp. 121-131

The article is concerned with the relationships between the natural environment and identity in the conditions of ecological crises and mass immigration. Environmental identity is part of the common concept that people will identify with what they care about. Using Susan Clayton methodology approach, we underline that environmental identity is part of getting to know part of our self, the key to recognizing the part of our self that is related to the environment is in viewing ourselves as part of the environment. An environmental identity can be similar to another collective identity (national or ethnic) giving us a sense of connection, possibility to be part of a larger whole, and with a recognition of similarity between others and ourselves. The author offers to look on the European environmental identity development through rationality, growing solidarity, and responsibility. An environmental rationality is not just a philosophical and theoretical enterprise but is rooted in social practices, recovered sense of the being, restores the link with life, and formulates new arguments for mobilizing collective actions. At the same time, nowadays, the ethic of otherness is not a dialectic of opposites that results in the exclusion and elimination of the opposite (radical) other. In new materialist framework, nature is not a passive social construct but "an agentic force that interacts with and changes the other elements, including the human" (Alaimo and Hekman). The influence of the environmental change is largely unrepresented in standard theories of migration. Climate change is expected to have some bearing on future migration. Every attempt to identify a climate change migrant or a climate refugee in the present is almost impossible. The reason for this is that migration is not caused by any single variable. The important question is how climate migrant is constructed in the media. The figure of the climate change migrant is regularly constructed as a hapless victim or as object of fear or threat. The article deals with definitions of environmental migrants, environmentally displaced people, or climate refugees as "people who must leave their homes and communities because of the effects of climate change and global warming". Environmental identity will be analyzed in the context of Felix Gvattari and Arne Næss ecosophy.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-99392-8_9

Full citation:

Nikiforova, B. (2019)., Deconstruction of Australian environmental identity in the mass immigration context summary, in J. Selmer methi, A. Sergeev & B. Nikiforova (eds.), Borderology: cross-disciplinary insights from the border zone, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 121-131.

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