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Climate Justice Movement Building: Values and Cultures of Creation in Santa Barbara, California

Department of Environmental Studies, College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University, New Science 112, Collegeville, MN 56321-3000, USA
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(3), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8030079
Received: 4 January 2019 / Revised: 11 February 2019 / Accepted: 25 February 2019 / Published: 4 March 2019
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Abstract

This article analyzes how young people in the climate justice movement cultivate a prefigurative culture centered on justice as a response to the threat of climate change. Employing grounded theory and drawing on data from in-depth interviews with 29 youth activists and participant observation in Santa Barbara County, California, the birthplace of both the environmental movement and offshore oil drilling, I argue that four key values—relationships, accessibility, intersectionality, and community—enable movement building, a stated goal of the climate justice movement. These values emerge from interviewees’ words and practices. Drawing on John Foran’s (2014) notion of political cultures of creation, I conceptualize these values and the practices that embody them as constituting a “climate justice culture of creation” that shapes and is shaped by ideas, experiences, social relations, and the reality of a changing atmosphere. These values, and movement building, are about creating alternative futures—cultures that are not dependent on inequality and fossil fuels. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate justice; social movements; youth; grassroots activism; political cultures; California climate justice; social movements; youth; grassroots activism; political cultures; California
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Grosse, C. Climate Justice Movement Building: Values and Cultures of Creation in Santa Barbara, California. Soc. Sci. 2019, 8, 79.

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