Ecological Crisis, Sustainability and the Psychosocial Subject

Beyond Behaviour Change

  • Matthew Adams

Part of the Studies in the Psychosocial book series (STIP)

About this book


This book draws on recent developments across a range of perspectives including psychoanalysis, narrative studies, social practice theory, posthumanism and trans-species psychology, to establish a radical psychosocial alternative to mainstream understanding of ‘environmental problems’.  Only by addressing the psychological and social structures maintaining unsustainable societies might we glimpse the possibility of genuinely sustainable future.
The challenges posed by the reality of human-caused ‘environmental problems’ are unprecedented.  Understanding how we respond to knowledge of these problems is vital if we are to have a hope of meeting this challenge.  Psychology and the social sciences have been drafted in to further this understanding, and inform interventions encouraging sustainable behaviour. However, to date, much of psychology has appeared happy to tinker with individual behaviour change, or encourage minor modifications in the social environment aimed at ‘nudging’ individual behaviour. As the ecological crisis deepens, it is increasingly recognised that mainstream understandings and interventions are inadequate to the collective threat posed by climate change and related ecological crises.


crisis critical psychology culture medicine methodology of the social sciences personality psychoanalysis psychology research social psychology social science sociology sustainability theory

Authors and affiliations

  • Matthew Adams
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Applied Social ScienceUniversity of BrightonBrightonUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information