Off-topic video: “Dialectic Issue LifeCycle Model” for beginners #theory #socialchange #statusquo starring #Manchester Uni academic

Here’s a video about the “Dialectic Issue LifeCycle Model”.  What’s that, you ask?  Well, in (very) crude terms – it’s about how some problems get onto the public and political radar, and how others don’t.  “Dialectic” is an academic word meaning “discussion/debate/struggle.”  So, fossil fuel companies – to pick an example entirely at random – might try to delay action on cutting carbon dioxide emissions.  Theoretically…

The video stars Professor Frank Geels of the Sustainable Consumption Institute at University of Manchester. Here’s an account of a seminar he did last year called “The arduous transition to low carbon energy” . It also stars Caetano Penna, one of his PhD supervisees, who co-developed the “DILC.”


UPDATE 26th April : Someone I sent it to wrote back-

“… I am a bit uncomfortable with the underlying assumption that time unfolds in a linear fashion. Problems go through defined stages according to this model. Is that true? We can develop these simplistic, evolutionary narratives of change with historic case studies but I think change is much messier and contingent. Is there the potential for a problem to skip a stage or develop a new stage or hybridise multiple stages? And there is a significant emphasis on the social without any acknowledgement of nonhumans and the role of space and place. I think it is more useful to think about how change happens through iterative, cyclical, hybrid, and situated processes. Change is a much more complex process than is presented here. The downside of this perspective is that it is much harder to articulate and doesn’t provide any constructive modes of action.”

I replied (I paraphrase) “Thanks! Some caveats (esp re linearity/potential “stuck”/oscillating between stages) got left on the cutting room floor to keep the narrative tight – it’s a 5 minute video, not a 3 year PhD”.  That was probably a) self-serving and b) unduly defensive?  Fwiw, I think the folks who came up with the DILC (not me!) are aware of most (all?) of those points, but they certainly need to be raised. The model (and it’s a model, not a theory) is young, it needs helpful pokes like this, and therefore I’m dead grateful!


About manchesterclimatemonthly

Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
This entry was posted in academia, youtubes. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s