Media library

Abstract: Regarding strategies for transformation, we examine the transformative potential of socio-ecological projects. “Pioneers of change”, i.e. innovative projects that do not stay in niches but shift the play of powers, encourage the degrowth transformation. When and how do such “forms of practice” become powerful instruments of transformation? Following practice theory, we understand practices as typical arrangements of images, skills, and stuff (Shove). Bundled, these arrangements become forms of practice, which are embedded in a dispositif of power (Foucault), linking interpretive patterns with doings and infrastructures. Using urban gardening and free stores as case studies we can show that our sociological approach offers criteria to identify transformative projects. In the medium term, socio-ecological forms of practice like urban gardening, free stores, repair cafés, and food banks can change the play of powers if they become stable parts of everyday routines. For this, experience-based learning, sharing and swapping, a community-based approach (and fun!) are important elements.