• Anne Sophie Gøllnitz
  • Anni Nepper Møller
4. term, Sociology, Master (Master Programme)

In contemporary society, climate change is oftentimes handled as the individuals’ responsibility, with long lists of do’s and don’ts. The advice turns out to be overwhelming and hence ineffective. In a community it seems like the responsibility is shared, and the individual feel more powerful in its actions concerning climate change, nature preservation and environment. This thesis focuses on the ecovillage as representative of the phenomena ‘green community’. In this context we seek to identify in which ways green and social practices are performed in the ecovillage Friland, and further how these practices influence one another. We explore this topic in a qualitative case study on the ecovillage Friland located near Rønde in Denmark. Our methods include semi-structured interviews and observations which allow us to get insight the thoughts of the residents’ practice and to observe their practice at Friland. The empirical data is analyzed by the aid of Laurent Thévenot pragmatic regimes, Birte Bech-Jørgensen’s everyday life theories, Zygmunt Bauman’s theory on community in the postmodern world. We also use a composition of Robert Putnam’s social network theory, Mark Granovetters social network theory and Thomas Scheff’s discourses in social bonds.

Our main results show that the residents of Friland have a lot of time on their hands due to a principle on not having debt while living in Friland. They consider this time to be essential for a green mindset and practice. The most significant project each family complete is building a sustainable house, which represents both a green practice as well as social ritual of integration. There is an element of social sanctioning if they do not sort their trash properly or use the correct kind of soap due to the willow wastewater cleaning facility. Furthermore, they encourage each other’s green practices, help when it is needed and trust each other, which shows reciprocity in the village. Most of the informants consider the community split up into smaller groups with strong ties in the relations. The bigger picture of the community is unstable, and the informants describe lack of engagement in joint meetings.

In conclusion the social practice affects the green practice in both promoting and inhibitory ways. When the social practice promotes the green practice, it is working as a catalyst in some cases where our informants describe that they are inspired by each other, they find support and discuss solutions to individual problems. The inhibitory practices are the long meetings where they rarely reach an agreement, they have a lack of shared vision for the future and the bigger green projects run out in the sand.
Publication date2 Sept 2018
Number of pages111
ID: 286324213