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Title: ‘Imagining ourselves’ as participating publics: an example from biodiversity conservation
Authors: Castro, P.
Mouro, C.
Keywords: Hegemony
Interaction experts/publics
Lay expertise
Public participation
Social representations
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Abstract: This article examines how residents in Natura 2000 sites in Southern Portugal ‘imagine themselves’ as publics participating in biodiversity conservation. Through nine focus groups (n = 49) it seeks to understand whether and how these self-imaginations reproduce and/or resist experts’ highly shared, hegemonic, representations across two dimensions: the epistemic and the normative. Analysis of the groups’ discussions shows that (1) reproduction is clearer in the normative dimension, conveyed through discursive formats that place ‘people’ as its actor and exempt the Ego from it; (2) resistance is clearer in the epistemic dimension, relying on vibrant claims of local knowledge, yet it can be maintained as hidden discourse; (3) the forms of reproduction or resistance that emerged were hybrid ones; and (4) self-imaginations are more fragmented and negative in normative matters and more unified and positive in epistemic matters. We discuss how these findings help understand how hegemonic representations are maintained/resisted in enduring public–expert relations.
Peer reviewed: yes
DOI: 10.1177/0963662515581303
ISSN: 0963-6625
Accession number: WOS:000384686100007
Appears in Collections:CIS-RI - Artigos em revistas científicas internacionais com arbitragem científica

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