Award Date

8-1-2019

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Sociology

First Committee Member

Barbara Brents

Second Committee Member

Robert Futrell

Third Committee Member

Ranita Ray

Fourth Committee Member

Marcia Gallo

Number of Pages

268

Abstract

In this study, I examine the development of the ecosexual movement, a social movement that begins at the intersection of environmental and sexual struggles, from its inception in the late 1990s/early 2000s. Previous research suggests intersectionality in social movements often ends up being divisive because it emphasizes difference. Using a mixed qualitative methods design including ethnographic field work, interviews, and content analysis of related web and print materials, I analyze how the ecosexual movement negotiates intersectionality. I found the ecosexual movement links processual notions of environmental justice and sexual justice through a dominant collective action frame of queer, erotic, “irreverent environmentalism” (Seymour 2012; 2018) and “eco-camp” (Whitworth 2019) that resonates in a time of mainstream apocalyptic narratives. The use of disruptive strategies incorporating a celebratory style of collaborative experimental art, radical performance, and other absurd, creative, sensual, emotive, visceral tactics facilitates moving away from modern binary or dichotomous “either/or” ideology starting with the human/nature division. The ecosexual movement not only challenges modern hierarchical dualisms that frame issues as a struggle between two opposing sides, it opens participatory space for creating potential alternative models that demonstrate an embodied example of the postmodern alternative cultural discourse and social organization that situates all humans in “humanity” and humans in nature, the dialectic of humanity-in-nature (Moore 2015).

Keywords

ecosexuality; environment; gender; politics; sexuality; social movements

Disciplines

Sociology | Theatre and Performance Studies

Language

English


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