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A Qualitative Study on the Integration and Conceptualisation of Solarpunk in Reddit Users Daily Lives

Wegener, P.K. (2023) A Qualitative Study on the Integration and Conceptualisation of Solarpunk in Reddit Users Daily Lives.

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Abstract:Climate change is a frequently discussed topic with many different climate change narratives characterising these discussions. Most of these narratives have a rather negative focus on e.g. the negative consequences and possible disasters and have been associated with an increase in negative feelings and impacted mental health. One climate change narrative that has a more positive focus is Solarpunk which focuses on imagining a more socially just future in which humanity lives sustainably in harmony with nature. So far scientific literature around Solarpunk is quite rare and mostly focused on Solarpunk as a literary genre. Thus far, no study has delved into exploring Solarpunk in online discussions, despite the majority of Solarpunk interactions taking place online. Therefore, this work examines Solarpunk as discussed by Reddit users of the Solarpunk subreddit. A reflexive thematic analysis was conducted to gain an in depth understanding of the Reddit users’ experiences with Solarpunk. 114 different comments from five different Reddit threads of the Solarpunk subreddit were examined, resulting in four themes: 1) Solarpunk as Positive, Useful, and Superior Mindset, 2) Solarpunk as a community who shares responsibility for the climate and the people, 3) Solarpunk as Sustainability that is Strenuous and Unattainable, and 4) Solarpunk as a State of Being Enabled by the Circumstances of the Person. These findings add to a more complete understanding of Solarpunk and fills a gap in the literature around more positively focused climate change narratives. This work concludes by highlighting potential implications for both practical applications and scientific exploration, suggesting ideas for further research.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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