I just realised that I have not even written anything about the current course we are taking: Field course in collaboration and learning in natural resource management (yes that’s the whole title, I didn’t shorten it). This is the second course in the syllabus, after the introduction to EC.
It is based around a research project carried out by the entire class. We are interviewing members of several regional government administrations who work with the relatively recent EU directive to implement green infrastructure policies throughout the union.
As EC students, we are interested in how the concept of green infrastructure is interpreted and implemented by the regional actors. The concept is rather vague per se, and given the Chinese whisper game effect, we are wondering how it gets translated through the ranks down to the actual hands doing the work.
We are applying two theoretical frames/lenses to the material we gather: discourse analysis and practice theory.
I’m personally mesmerized by practice theory so far, and will probably be writing some geeky posts on it once we have completed the lectures and literature discussions. Discourse analysis is basically about pointing out the underlying linguistic rules about what you can and cannot say in a given context, which of course heavily influences what is done and not done, what is challenged or not, what is explored or not. Also interesting but less fascinating as it is in itself a quite narrow lens, focusing only on language. I find practice theory to be fascinating because it acknowledges that what we say is not more important than what we do, or what/who we do it with, and our collective reasons for doing and our understandings of why we do it and what the consequences are.
We are right now in the process of conducting interviews with the people involved in green infrastructure, and learning more about how to use discourse analysis and practice theory as analytical tools. It is complex and somewhat chaotic at the moment, but slowly the picture is emerging, one brush stroke at the time.