Over the past decade the concept of the social imaginary has gained considerable purchase in the social sciences, and in environmental studies as well, where the term "environmental imaginary" has begun appearing in the literature. (See R. Peet and M. Watts, Liberation Ecologies, London: Routledge 1996) The phenomenological study of how multiple collectively-wrought worlds may be anchored in the same physical space offers a way of retrieving the cultural and political aspects of ecological crisis that are typically bracketed out in environmental decision-making. This approach is one way of undertaking a critical task for the social sciences, which is, as Scott Lash puts it, "to lay bare the ontological foundations of communal being in the world" and to point, in the process, to "a grounded set of substantive goods as the basis of any sort of communal ethics" (Ulrich Beck, Anthony Giddens, and Scott Lash, Reflexive Modernization Stanford: Stanford University Press 1994).

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.