, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 131–150 | Cite as

Subjectivity, ecology and meditation – Performing interconnectedness

  • António Carvalho
Original Article


This article explores the set of practices promoted by the Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and reflects on the articulations of meditation and environmentalism. Informed by current debates in Science and Technology Studies, I reflect on the role of meditation in the construction of an ecology of the self. Through the analysis of practices of mindfulness, this article investigates a variety of devices recruited to transform subjectivities, enacting relational and interconnected versions of selfhood, opposed to the modern and dualistic paradigm of subjectivity. I reflect on the performative, experiential and social dimensions of these relational ontologies, exploring the potential of meditation practices to tackle the current ‘ecological crisis’.


meditation Zen subjectification technologies of the Self ecology 



I would like to thank Andy Pickering, Giovanna Colombetti and Oriana Brás for their comments on the first draft of this article. I would also like to thank the editors and reviewers of Subjectivity for their insightful and enriching suggestions. Finally, I would like to thank FCT – Foundation for Science and Technology, Portugal – for funding my PhD research (SFRH / BD / 62928 / 2009).


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • António Carvalho
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of SociologyPhilosophy and Anthropology, University of ExeterExeterUK
  2. 2.Centre for Social Studies, University of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal

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