Postgraduate students research a broad range of topics across the School disciplines.
Living and Working Together Towards Environmental Sustainability Goals: How a contemporary intentional community with ecological ideals maintains communitas over the long term.
This study aims to provide novel and relevant insights into the strategies used to maintain communal harmony and management of the natural environment in an ecovillage over the long term. By focusing on a community with an environmental ideology, this research will generate further understanding of how people relate to environmental problems. The practices to be studied will have been used by the community to motivate group action, for the benefit of the natural environment, for a sustained period of years and, in some cases, generations. Members of ecovillages are attempting to answer the ultimate question: How do we change our lives so that we can sustain our world for us and for future generations? It is possible that the answer to this question is a need for drastic changes in lifestyle for nations the world over (Trainer 1998). By investigating an established ecovillage, this research will provide an analysis of how environmental and communal sustainability might be achieved in other communities.
This project will constitute an original piece of work by applying anthropological methods to the study of ecovillages in an area previously unstudied in this detail. The proposed research is unique in investigating how an ecovillage links its strategies for maintaining communitas with its ecological ideals. This research will contribute to an understanding of both environmental and communal sustainability in all types of small communities. The focus on environmental sustainability in this research will also contribute to studies and theories of governance and human-environment relations.