Evaluation of the Permaculture Movement and its Limitations for Sustainable Transition

Dec 16, 2014, 10:00am - 11:00am
Deadline: 

An Honors Thesis presentation by Olivia Miller will be presented at 10:00 a.m. in 333C Kottman Hall. Her presentation is Evaluation of the Permaculture Movement and its Limitations for Sustainable Transition

In light of the ecological and social consequences of industrial agriculture, several social movements have emerged to demand the transition towards a more sustainable food system. This thesis focuses on permaculture as one such social movement and serves to explore movement dynamics and evaluate its viability as a sustainable alternative to the current industrial mode of production in a United States context. Specifically, the exclusion of contemporary science and political activism in the permaculture movement is analyzed for its hindrance on movement expansion, participation, and application. Content was informed by multiple site visitations and interviews with active permaculturalists in the New England region and the 2014 North American Permaculture Convergence hosted in Clarks Grove Minnesota, as well as a thorough review of related literature in social movement theory, transnational agroecological movements, and permaculture. It is concluded that the permacultural movement should engage with scientific institutions and address barriers created by existing political structures in order to be a relevant and viable model for sustainable transition.