Edited by Kevin Archer and Kris Bezdecny
Chapter 13: Mending fences: constituting urban subjects through environmental stewardship
This chapter examines the ways in which urban subjectivities emerge through environmental stewardship. Employing Michel Foucault’s notion of governmentality, it examines the fluidity of power relations as everyday citizens internalize, resist, negotiate with, or transcend expert scientific knowledge about urban environments while engaging in environmental stewardship practices. Drawing from research conducted in Philadelphia, PA, it focuses on participants in the city’s ecological restoration program, the tendency of environmental restoration to reinforce a division between natural lands and urban spaces, and the tendency of restoration participants to contest this division. Environmental stewardship, therefore, is theorized as a site of possibility in which performances in and about parks can disrupt or reinforce dominant discourses of urban environmentalism.
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