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Ecological Citizenship Education and the Consumption of Animal Subjectivity

Department of Educational Science, University of Innsbruck, Liebeneggstrasse 8, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Educ. Sci. 2019, 9(1), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9010041
Received: 20 December 2018 / Revised: 22 January 2019 / Accepted: 12 February 2019 / Published: 16 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecocentric Education)
The unfolding of the ecological disaster has led authors to reconsider the position of the human subject and his/her relationship with the earth. One entry point is the concept of ecological citizenship, which emphasizes responsibility, community, and care. However, the discourse of ecological citizenship often reduces the human subject to a critical consumer-citizen and citizenship education to the production of such a subject. The position outlined in this paper provides a more fundamental critique of consumption as a way of being in and relating to the world. In particular, it foregrounds objectification, commodification, and its impacts on human and nonhuman subjectivity and the possibility of care within a multi-species community. The paper brings animal-sensitive work in environmental education research and political theory into dialogue with a more general critique of culture and pedagogy in consumer society. From this perspective, ecological citizenship education seeks to liberate human and nonhuman beings from predetermined behavioral results and functions, and opens the time and space for the subjectification of human and nonhuman citizens within the complex dynamics of a multi-species community. With this proposition, the paper contributes to an ecocentric understanding of ecological citizenship education that builds on the continuity of life and subjective experience. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecological citizenship; environmental education; anthropocentrism; humanism; consumption; subjectivity; nonhuman animals ecological citizenship; environmental education; anthropocentrism; humanism; consumption; subjectivity; nonhuman animals
MDPI and ACS Style

Spannring, R. Ecological Citizenship Education and the Consumption of Animal Subjectivity. Educ. Sci. 2019, 9, 41.

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