Wednesday 7
Tips or Traps? Advancing understanding to steer clear of impoverishment traps and tipping points
Niki Frantzeskaki
› 10:25 - 11:20 (55min)
› Antigone 3
A gilded trap of our own making: anthropocentric discursive traps as barriers to transformation
Keith Tidball  1@  
1 : Dept. of Natural Resources, Cornell University
91709 – Cornell University – Ithaca, New York 14853 US -  États-Unis

Hobson alludes to discursive traps in her analysis of competing discourses of sustainable consumption, and provides a jumping off point for further investigation of discursive traps. This line of inquiry is especially relevant to efforts to better understand barriers to social-ecological system transformations. Such barriers often include the presence of rigidity and poverty traps within systems of interest, but as this paper posits, some rigidity and poverty traps may be informed by and/or reinforced by discursive traps that exist in the social structures nested within social-ecological systems. In other words, a provocative proposition is presented wherein it is argued that the way in which human actors conceive of themselves and their so-called agency within social-ecological systems may be linked to the likelihood of escaping traps or recognizing and acknowledging tipping points in a resilience and transformation context. This paper will present a handful of examples of anthropocentric discursive traps as barriers to transformation, and will forward suggestions for mitigating, dismantling, adapting to, or ameliorating these traps. A discussion of the term “social-ecological systems” will provide fertile ground for examples of such traps, depending upon the many possible meanings ascribed to the term. This paper is to be a part of the session entitled: "Tips or Traps? Advancing understanding to steer clear of impoverishment traps and tipping points."


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