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Individual Paper: Questioning societal assumptions and paradigms through transdisciplinary research

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In order to meet urgent problems such as poverty, climate change, a fragmentation of communities and environmental destruction, a socio-ecological transformation is necessary. Questioning societal assumptions and paradigms are often seen as an important prerequisite of such a transformation. This particularly holds true for the paradigm of growth which is deeply rooted in many areas of our lives. Collaboration and research between different persons from science, arts, social movement and public institutions provide a way to make visible and negotiate such assumptions and paradigms. Transdisciplinary sustainability research is developing as a cooperative, problem and solution oriented form of research in which heterogeneous actors are involved. A premise is that knowledge, values, interests and perspectives of these actors should be included in the research in order to generate knowledge that is socially robust, that improves a given – unsustainable – situation, or that stimulates mutual learning processes.

In my presentation, I discuss how societal assumptions and paradigms can be questioning through transdisciplinary research. Therefore, I focus on methodological foundations of transdisciplinary research and on premises and assumptions of the research itself. The presentation is based on my research on the design and implementation of transdisciplinary sustainability projects. I argue that on the one hand side, the way how the research is conducted plays a crucial role in questioning societal assumptions and paradigms. This asks for a continuous reflection of the premises of the research itself and the relationships between those involved. On the other hand side, space should be given to the exploration of the differences of the involved persons in order to better understand and relate experiences, knowledges and visions with regard to social-ecological ways of life. Under these conditions, transdisciplinary research can contribute to questioning societal assumptions and paradigms and support a socio-ecological transformation.


Day: 2018-08-24
Start time: 11:30
Duration: 00:15
Room: ABF204
Track: Custom (describe on the submission note)



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