Everyday Environmentalism develops a conversation between marxist theories of everyday life and recent work in urban political ecology, arguing for a philosophy of praxis in relation to the politics of urban environments. Grounding its theoretical debate in empirical studies of struggles to obtain water in the informal settlements of Durban, South Africa, as well as in the creative acts of insurgent art activists in London, Alex Loftus builds on the work of key marxist thinkers to redefine "environmental politics".
A marxist philosophy of praxis--that world-changing ideas emerge from the acts of everyday people--undergirds the book. Our daily reality, writes Loftus, is woven out of the entanglements of social and natural relations, and as such a kind of environmental politics is automatically incorporated into our lives. Nevertheless, one effect of the public recognition of global environmental change, asserts Loftus, has been a resurgence of dualistic understandings of the world: for example, that nature is inflicting revenge on arrogant human societies.
This ambitious work reformulates--with the assistance of such philosophers as Lukacs, Gramsci, Lefebvre, and others--a politics of the environment in which everyday subjectivity is at the heart of a revolutionary politics.
'Everyday Environmentalism' makes a compelling argument about how new environmental understandings can emerge from a critique of everyday life. Moving seamlessly between theory and practice in mutually illuminating ways, this book sheds exciting new light on the conditions of possibility for a radical socionatural politics.
- Gillian Hart, University of California, Berkeley
"'Everyday Environmentalism' provides access to a host of historically complex ideas central to the evolution of urban political ecology and beyond. Alex Loftus's depth of knowledge within social theory, urban studies, and socionature studies is robust."
- Nik Heynen, University of Georgia
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