Critical ecocultural intersectionality

Authored by: Melissa Michelle Parks

Routledge Handbook of Ecocultural Identity

Print publication date:  May  2020
Online publication date:  May  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138478411
eBook ISBN: 9781351068840
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781351068840-6

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Abstract

Dominant Western society is deeply rooted in anthropocentrism, a foundational ideology that perpetuates hierarchical socioecological human-centered structures and directly relates to other sites of othering and oppression, including in gender, race, and colonization (Plumwood, 2002). One approach for challenging the norms of othering and oppression has been the use of a transdisciplinary lens of critical intersectionality to explore forms of identity. In Chapter 6 of the Routledge Handbook of Ecocultural Identity, Parks revisits intersectionality through an ecocultural identity framework that illuminates relationships between discursive human constructs and the more-than-human world. Following a review of extant eco-oriented identity theories, Parks discusses the transformative concept of ecocultural identity and argues for its use as a frame for intersectionality studies. The theoretical framework of ecocultural identity problematizes normalized conceptions of identity as static and separate intersecting constructs, and discursively functions to dismantle dualistic and anthropocentric ideologies that result in oppression of both people and the Earth. Through this transformative lens of intersectionality, eco-oriented scholars also can more productively examine ways power is implicated in environmental studies and relations. Similarly, an understanding of ecocultural intersectionality is essential for ongoing critical identity work that must begin to interrogate anthropocentrism and more-than human elements of identity.

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