Sustainably unpersuaded: how persuasion narrows our vision of sustainability
Paper i proceeding, 2012
In this paper we provide a critical analysis of persuasive sustainability research from 2009-2011. Drawing on critical sociological theory of modernism, we argue that persuasion is based on a limited framing of sustainability, human behavior, and their interrelationship. This makes supporting sustainability easier, but leads to characteristic patterns of breakdown. We then detail problems that emerge from this narrowing of vision, such as how the framing of sustainability as the optimization of a simple metrics places technologies incorrectly as objective arbiters over complex issues of sustainability. We conclude by suggesting alternative approaches to move beyond these problems.