Neoliberal and disciplinary environmentality and ‘sustainable seafood’ consumption: storying environmentally responsible action
(2017) Environmental Education Research, 23 (8), pp. 1182-1199.
This article invokes a neoliberal and disciplinary governmentality lens in a political ecology of education framework to analyze educational programming at Long Beach, California’s Aquarium of the Pacific. I begin by briefly describing governmentality as Foucault and neo-Foucauldian scholars have theorized the concept, followed by a discussion of the emergence of green governmentality and environmentality in political ecology. Next, I invoke a political ecology of education framework informed by neoliberal and disciplinary environmentality to analyze institutional and teaching practice at the Aquarium. In this analysis, I demonstrate how the institution’s funding structure, placement within the entertainment markets of the southern California area, and commitment to ocean conservation education all influence how the Aquarium conceptualizes itself and its work. I focus on the case of the Blue Cavern Show and the Seafood for the Future program, which work in tandem to define a problem (declining fish stocks; possible seafood shortages) and then structure a neoliberal solution through the market (sustainable seafood consumption). I conclude by discussing the implications of this research for environmental education, which include unpacking how neoliberalism impacts teaching practice, especially as it relates to notions of framing environmentally responsible action. © 2015 Taylor & Francis.
informal education; neoliberalism; political ecology; zoos