• Fashion acolytes or environmental saviours? When will young people have had ‘enough’?

      Collins, Rebecca; University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018-10-01)
      In the global north, high rates of material consumption show few signs of abating, despite oft-repeated warnings of dire social and environmental consequences. Environmental educators have identified young people as a potentially effective group of change agents, capable of driving a transformative shift in how we consume. Yet this picture of the young environmental ‘saviour’ is at odds with many Western young people’s thirst for the ‘latest’ fashions and trends. This chapter explores how young people themselves make sense of this apparent contradiction. Exploring under-researched questions around young people’s conceptualisations of, and affective and embodied responses to, the notion of ‘enough’, it highlights the cultural and contextual factors which could prove decisive in positioning the notion of ‘enough’ centrally in a sustainability-compatible youth material culture.
    • Revisiting tropes of environmental and social change in Casamance, Senegal

      Evans, Martin; University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016-11-17)
      Established tropes hold that reduced rainfall across the West African Sahel and savanna from the late 1960s onwards caused migration from rural areas to cities or to better-watered lands further south. It is argued that this in turn caused major shifts in the rural economy, social transformation, disputes over land tenure and use between indigenous and immigrant populations, and violent conflict in places. Alternative analyses, while recognising a role for environmental change in social processes, take a deeper historical perspective and offer a more diverse, nuanced view of causality. This debate is worth revisiting to help prevent flawed, sometimes fallacious tropes from informing development policy and practice. The chapter thus examines paddy rice cultivation in Casamance, southern Senegal, amid broader contemporary contestations about environmentally-induced migration.