chapter  3
13 Pages

NARRATING NATURE Perceptions of the environment and attitudes towards it in life stories

ByDaniela Koleva

Our own research project1 was similar: we did not originally aim to include the theme of the environment, or to account for the formation and development of environmental consciousness. However, we became increasingly aware not only that our actions obviously have to take place in certain environments, but also that our memories are anchored to these environments as well. People’s autobiographical narratives normally include a ‘backdrop’ of some environment, which seems inextricable from what happens. Particular aspects of the life story are tied to particular settings of the environment. Changing environments correspond to changes in a life; stable environments contribute to stable identities; and landscapes, once perceived, keep reappearing in memory, bringing back once again past feelings and moods. Thus environment seems to acquire the specific biographical dimension which has only recently attracted the attention of researchers.2