• Roy Bendor
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Media and Environmental Communication book series (PSMEC)


This chapter discusses sustainability first as a “contested concept” and then as a discursive field. Based on the accounts given in previous chapters, the four refracted meanings of sustainability are critically evaluated based on three elements: complexity, futurity, and agency. Complexity because sustainability involves a dense network of human and nonhuman actors, material and cultural imperatives whose interactions often lead to unanticipated, emergent consequences. Futurity because from its very beginning, sustainability sought to shift human temporal horizons, considerations, and responsibilities from the “here and now” to the future. And agency because sustainability implies that humans have the capacity to intervene and make the world a better place.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roy Bendor
    • 1
  1. 1.Delft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands

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