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The Power of Narrative in Environmental Networks by Raul P. Lejano, Mrill Ingram, Helen M. Ingram


The Power of Narrative in Environmental Networks by Raul P. Lejano, Mrill Ingram, Helen M. Ingram

Theory and case studies demonstrate the analytic potential of mutually constitutive narrative networks in environmental governance. For as long has humans have lived in communities, storytelling has bound people to each other and to their environments. In recent times, scholars have noted how social networks arise around issues of resource and ecological management. In this book, Raul Lejano, Mrill Ingram, and Helen Ingram argue that stories, or narratives, play a key role in these networks -- that environmental communities narrate themselves into existence. The authors propose the notion of the narrative-network, and introduce innovative tools to analyze the plots, characters, and events that inform environmental action. Their analysis sheds light on how environmental networks can emerge in unlikely contexts and sustain themselves against great odds. The authors present three case studies that demonstrate the power of narrative and narratology in the analysis of environmental networks: a conservation network in the Sonoran Desert, which achieved some success despite U.S.-Mexico border issues; a narrative that bridged differences between community and scientists in the Turtle Islands; and networks of researchers and farmers who collaborated to develop and sustain alternative agriculture practice in the face of government inaction. These cases demonstrate that by paying attention to language and storytelling, we can improve our understanding of environmental behavior and even change it in positive ways.


Clearly written, engaging, rigorous and timely, The Power of Narrative in Environmental Networks is innovative research in environmental studies and in sociology of the environment. It is one of the very few books that can successfully renew the field of environmental studies and bring a new framework for doctoral students and scholars. Such renewal does not happen every year. Even academics in narrative studies that might be unfamiliar with environmental studies will benefit as well from reading this excellent book. * Electronic Green Journal *

About the Author

Mrill Ingram, a PhD in Geography, is an independent scholar in Madison, Wisconsin and Associate Director of the Gaining Ground Project at the Farley Center for Peace, Justice, and Sustainability.

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Book Info

Publication date

26th July 2013


Raul P. Lejano, Mrill Ingram, Helen M. Ingram

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MIT Press an imprint of MIT Press Ltd


248 pages


Environmental policy & protocols



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