Presented paper on actual vs. communicative work of sustainability at Brown Bag Lecture

Last week, I talked about my ongoing research into the communicative meaning-making processes of sustainability work, from the perspective of practitioners who implement it, at the Brown Bag Lecture Series organized by Wayne State University’s Humanities Center.

The Humanities Center is, of course, the principal sponsor and supporter of the Sustainability Scholars Forum that I helped found here on campus — a group of social scientists and humanists, who interrogate complex issues related to ecological and institutional sustainability. The Center has been amazingly helpful to me over the past 4 years I’ve been at Wayne State, and enabled several interdisciplinary contacts, so I was excited to share my preliminary findings at this forum. The conversations that ensued were incredibly insightful, and I can’t wait to incorporate the audiences’ ideas into this study, as I proceed to write it up as a manuscript!

In a nutshell, this study used qualitative research methods to examine how sustainability practitioners framed their everyday work. I examined the nuances of what they labeled “actual” and “communication” work; particularly intriguing were the overlaps and tensions between these categories, and how communication work is an integral part of how sustainability is implemented. Stay tuned for the next avatar of this paper, as it moves toward publication… somewhere! 🙂

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