Becoming a (green) identity entrepreneur: learning to negotiate situated identities to nurture community environmental practice

Alex Franklin, Ria Dunkley

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)
    105 Downloads (Pure)


    This paper explores the relationship between ‘green’ identity and community environmental practice. It focuses on the ways in which professional community development facilitators and lead members of community groups attempt to actively shape how environmental projects are locally received. Drawing principally on identity, social sustainability and social practice theory scholarship, it reviews the often very personal and place-specific ways in which appeals to green identity are variously understood and applied, or are actively avoided, by community group leaders. Individuals who have become skilful in negotiating and influencing the presentation of environmental projects to the local community are understood here as (green) identity entrepreneurs. Arguably, it is the situated entrepreneurial skilfulness of lead individuals in negotiating the multiple and evolving (green) identities circulating through any one project, which plays a significant part in determining its subsequent impact and longevity. In understanding the contribution of (green) identity entrepreneurship, however, its relational association with everyday practices, routines and meanings of community and place is brought to the fore. The paper also considers how divergent external interpretations of what constitutes legitimate environmental practice at a local level further shape project identity. The discussion is informed by evidence drawn from a qualitative study of seventeen community groups and seven professional environmental support officers participating in a Welsh Government led programme aimed at facilitating 'community action on climate change'.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)(in press)
    JournalEnvironment and Planning A
    Volume(in press)
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2017


    • community
    • entrepreneur
    • environment
    • identity
    • sustainability


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