1 Sociologisk Institut, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Københavns Universitet3 Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Københavns Universitet4 Sociologisk Institut, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Københavns Universitet
Civic Activists Moving between Familiar and Public Engagements in the City
In this article, we explore the cultural-political tensions and ambiguities of urban ecology, by way of following how activists move and translate between ‘familiar’ and ‘public’ engagements in the green city. Empirically, we locate our exploration in and around Nordhavnen (The North Harbor), a large-scale sustainable urban development project in Copenhagen. Invoking Laurent Thévenot’s pragmatic sociology of ‘regimes of engagement’, we sketch a culturally sensitive approach to urban ecological activism, highlighting the critical moral capacities involved in building new forms of ‘commonality in the plural’ in the city. In particular, we stress the role assumed in such engagements by various image-making practices, as means for activists to express, share and render publicly visible a range of embodied urban attachments. Pragmatic sociology, we conclude, may contribute to a novel understanding of urban politics as inclusive learning processes, more hospitable to a wider diversity of familiar attachments to cities and their ecologies.
Sociology, 2015, Vol 49, Issue 1, p. 19-37
Faculty of Social Sciences; civic activism; familiar attachments; Laurent Thévenot; pragmatic sociology; urban ecology