FROM ACTIVISM TO ALIENATION: THE PARADOXES OF BEING AN ECO-CITIZEN
Abstract

Author(s): Chantal Aspe and Marie JacquƩ

In France today, the different public authorities in charge of protecting and/or managing the environment rely heavily on the term “eco-citizen”, which is also broadly wielded in the media and poli ti cal discourse. From a set of recommendations, it becomes an order that is based on a normalizing process which codifies social behaviour and directs the way individuals participate in a collective project. Several national surveys conducted in France and Europe point up the shared acceptance of this codification which appears to individuals as a means to combat on a personal level the negative collateral effects of our development model. We will argue that this approach is an ideological mask that presents repair tactics as capable of transforming relations of production. Such practices are actually alienating for individuals insofar as their eco-citizen behaviour allows the development model to reposition itself and incorporate new markets. Individuals are as such dispossessed of the radical scope of their actions and lose control of the object for which they became involved in the first place. Keywords: Sociology, environmental ideology, eco-citizenship, activism, alienation