Social dreaming and ecocentric ethics: sources of non-rational insight in the face of climate change catastrophe

Gosling, Jonathan, and Case, Peter (2013) Social dreaming and ecocentric ethics: sources of non-rational insight in the face of climate change catastrophe. Organization, 20 (5). pp. 705-721.

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Abstract

The article considers the role of dreams as social, rather than individual, phenomena and suggests that as such they may serve as resources for 'future imaginings' with respect to potentially devastating consequences of climate change (and other transgressions of planetary boundaries). Adopting a socio-analytical perspective, it contemplates the possibility of a societal level 'cosmology episode' caused by catastrophic climate change; a critical point of rupture in the meaning-making process which leaves local rationalities in ruin. Drawing on a 'representative anecdote', the article finds allegorical parallels between the cultural collapse of a traditional indigenous culture and the impending threat of ecocrisis currently facing humanity. The possibilities of seeing and imagining offered by collective forms of dreaming are explored alongside development of a non-anthropocentric ethics. Our focus is on ways of sensing, thinking and talking about climate change that are less dependent on a rational conscious subject. The article thus enquires into what cultural means or resources might be available to (post)modern Western societies that, like the shamanic dream-vision of certain traditional cultures, might enable them to draw on non-anthropocentric sensibilities and organize responses to an impending cultural crisis. We conclude by offering Gordon Lawrence's social dreaming matrix as one possible medium through which to imagine and see beyond climate change catastrophe.

Item ID: 30393
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1461-7323
Keywords: catastrophe, climate change, cosmology episode, ecocentric ethics, social dreaming, socio-analysis
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2013 05:29
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1503 Business and Management > 150310 Organisation and Management Theory @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960311 Social Impacts of Climate Change and Variability @ 100%
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