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Environmental Networks

We narrate our way into profoundly diverse relationships with Earth. I am compelled to understand those stories & their material manifestations. While all my work is about environmental networks, below is scholarship related to understanding "narrative networks" and their role in grassroots environmental action. 

The Power of Narrative in Environmental Networks

By Raul Lejano, Mrill Ingram and Helen Ingram

MIT Press

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.

Lejano, Raul, Helen Ingram and Mrill Ingram.  2018. "Narrative in the Policy Process."  In Handbook on the Policy Process, Rob Hoppe, Hal Colebatch (Eds.)  Edward Elgar.


Ingram, M. H. Ingram, and R. Lejano. 2015. "Environmental Action in the Anthropocene: The Power of Narrative Networks." Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, 21(5)492-503.

Ingram, M., H. Ingram, and R. Lejano. 2014. "What’s the story? Creating and

sustaining environmental networks." Environmental Politics 23(6): 984-1002.

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