April 2015 to September 2018
The subproject examines prominent drafts of a sustainable society since the ‘ecological revolution’ around 1970. These are read as reality-generating narratives that aim at guiding human perception and action towards the realisation of a sustainable society: In a ‘symptomatological’ reading of the relationship between human and nature, they diagnose undesirable developments in the present, which they trace back to the past and continue into the future. On this template, they design a supposedly better, sustainable future and postulate measures that are supposed to pave the way into this future. The aim of the study is to reconstruct the narrative ‘building blocks’ with which sustainability narratives are constructed in terms of the problematisations, forms of knowledge, and basic assumptions they contain. In this process, it is of particular interest which (historical) narrative figures are put into the focus of these narratives, how these figures are made compatible with one another and how they are condensed into coherent narratives. Finally, the project will also examine how the various sustainability narratives relate to each other and how they, thereby, have always helped to produce the demarcation from and de-thematisation of alternative perspectives.
In the sustainability discourse, various actors are addressed as being responsible for the transformation towards sustainability or appoint themselves as responsible authorities. In addition to formal political institutions, companies, consumers, and civil society, there is a multitude of ‘intentional’ communities that are committed to the goal of sustainability. According to their self-concept, the community “Sieben Linden”, with which the subproject is concerned, strives to be a model for ecologically and socially acceptable coexistence. It is working on a culture of sustainability that is supposed to have an impact on society. Membership in the community is associated with adaptation and learning processes, which in turn are accompanied by a variety of responsibilisations. Using a praxeological-ethnographic approach, the subproject investigates how responsibilisation and subjectivation of collective and individual actors are mutually dependent in the specific context of a sustainability-oriented care community. A participatory observation of everyday events will provide insights into how (sustainability) programmatics are translated into social practices and what (unexpected) forms of behaviour and modes of subjectivation arise that might undermine these programmatics.