28  The social handprint of sustainable citizenship1

Bronwyn Hayward

Introduction

This chapter examines the implications of a turn to active citizenship for sustainability, captured in the shift from ecological “footprints” to “handprint” imagery. I critique the way handprint metaphors are increasingly used in environmental education, environmental movements and the green economy, highlighting the limiting assumptions about “individual agency” which are implicit in many of these images of personally responsible citizenship. I then sketch an alternative concept of a “social handprint” as collaborative citizen action across space and time, offering this as more effective and democratic response to global power, social injustice, intergenerational ...

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