The New Brighteners Versus (#@%&*!) Litter

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Abstract

The purpose of this ethnographic study is to explore placemaking processes leading to cleaner, litter-free places, whilst considering terms like Place Ecology (PE), Place Ecosystems, Place Phenology and the Place Ecologist, as significant contributions as frameworks to studying place(s); terms which are lacking from the extant literature. It is intended to provide further insights into the gaps in the extant literature surrounding the complexities of emergent placemaking and communities of practice. Practice in this study is informed by lived experiences of the researcher’ own participation with a group of like-minded, litter-picking individuals, namely, ‘The New Brighteners’. Such communities would benefit more support and ongoing efficacy as they take back the reins with regard to the places they live, work and visit. This community represents a range of experiences and choices to manage litter whilst at the same time providing a range of knowledge exchange opportunities for each other and those whom encounter them. An immersive, ethnographic study mapped against PE ideas via free-flowing discussions with participants, observations of activities, and content analysis of paper-based and online resources provide holistic and robust interpretation. It is hoped that the proposed PE-related frameworks born out of ecological, ecosystemic and phenological concepts and theories expand the depth of our understanding of place(s), leading to opportunities for even more effective place-related research, practice and support.

Keywords

  • Communities of Practice
  • Litter
  • Sustainability
  • Placemaking
  • Place Ecology
  • Autoethnography.

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