Catastrophic futures, anxious presents: lifestyle activism and hope in the permaculture movement in Turkey

Abiral, Bürge (2015) Catastrophic futures, anxious presents: lifestyle activism and hope in the permaculture movement in Turkey. [Thesis]

[thumbnail of BurgeAbiral_10079550.pdf] PDF

Download (750kB)


This thesis presents a critical exploration of the permaculture movement in Turkey from various interlocking angles. An ecological landscape design system that functions with the ethical values of caring for people and for Earth as well as sharing the surplus, permaculture was introduced in Australia in the 1970s, and became a worldwide movement which refrains from using a political language despite its ultimate desire to establish a “global alternative nation” that consists of ecological and self-sufficient communities. Through ethnographic fieldwork with permaculture groups, I explore the reflections of this movement and its post-ideological language in the post-coup neoliberal context in Turkey. I first describe the process of becoming a permaculturist through the narratives of my interlocutors who are mostly educated, middle and uppermiddle class urbanites. Exploring how their consumer habitus shifts to an ecological habitus, I argue that this transformation is already enabled by the privileged positions occupied by permaculturists in society. I then evaluate the lifestyle strategies that they employ to enact change in the world, and I claim that the conception of social change in permaculture replicates Bourdieu’s theory of practice. I then examine the post-political nature of permaculture and discuss its transformative potential. Finally, I turn to the catastrophic scenarios that circulate among permaculturists about the future of the Earth, and argue that permaculturists produce two forms of hope, anxious hope and catastrophic hope, the interaction of which places hope both in the present and the future.
Item Type: Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: Permaculture. -- Habitus. -- Lifestyle activism. -- Post-politics. -- Hope. -- Permakültür. -- Habitus. -- Yaşam tarzı aktivizmi. -- Post-politika. -- Umut.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Academic programs > Cultural Studies
Depositing User: IC-Cataloging
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2017 15:29
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2022 10:11

Actions (login required)

View Item
View Item