Living in the climate crisis: Exploring situated perspectives and openings for change through everyday life stories

  • Nina Moesby Bennetsen
Nøgleord: Climate crisis, Situated perspectives, Change, Everyday life sociology, Urban studies, Feminist theory, Narratives, COP15


Stories and narratives have been used in social scientific research for decades, to entail perspectives of the lived experiences in different contexts. In this article, I argue that everyday life stories of situated experiences can contribute with rich understandings of different experiences, possibilities for change, or abilities to respond to the climate crisis. The article is based on theories from within urban studies, everyday life sociology, feminist theory and scholars engaged with stories in in social sciences.


Alvesson, M. and Sköldberg, K. (2018). Reflexive methodology, new vistas for qualitative research. Third ed. Los Angeles: Sage.
Bech-Jørgensen, B. (1994). Når hver dag bliver hverdag. Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag.
Beck, U. (2009). World at Risk. Polity Press.
Bee, B. A., Rice, J. and Trauger, A. (2015). A Feminist Approach to Climate Change Governance: Everyday and Intimate Politics, Geography Compass, vol. 9(6), pp. 339–350.
Bennetsen, N. M. and Magelund, J. O. (2015). Hverdagshåndteringer - En undersøgelse af bæredygtighed og mobilitet i hverdagslivet. Roskilde Universitet.
Chase, S. E. (2018). Narrative inquiry: Toward theoretical and methodological maturity. In: Denzin, N. K. and Lincoln, Y. S. eds., The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research, 5th ed. Thousand Oaks: SAGE, pp. 546–560.
Clandinin, D. J. (2016). Engaging in Narrative Inquiry. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
Danish Meteorological Institute (2018). Vejret i Danmark - sommer 2013. Available at:
Denzin, N. K. (2001). The reflexive interview and a performative social science. Qualitative Research, vol. 1(1), pp. 23–46.
Egmose, J. (2015). Action Research for Sustainability: Social Imagination Between Citizens and Scientists. Farnham: Ashgate.
Eliasson, O. (2019). Ice Watch @ Available at: [Accessed: 13 May 2019].
Eskjær, M. F. and Sørensen, M. (2014). Introduktion - Humanistisk klimaforskning. In: Sørensen, M. and Eskjær, M. F. eds., Klima og mennesker - Humanistiske perspektiver på klimaforandringer, Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanums Forlag, pp. 11–26.
Fischer, F. and Forester, J. (1993). The argumentative turn in policy analysis and planning. Durham: Duke University Press. 9780822381815.
Fischer, Frank and Gottweis, H. (2012). Introduction. In: Fischer, Frank; and Gottweis, H. eds., The Argumentative Turn Revisited. Public Policy as Communicative Practice. Durham & London: Duke University Press, pp. 1–27.
Fjalland, E. L. P. (2018). A Carrier Bag Story of (waste) food, hens and the sharing economy, Applied Mobilities. Routledge, vol. 3(1), pp. 34–50.
Fjalland, E. L. P. (2019). Rebellious waste & food, searching for reparative futures within urban-rural landscapes. Roskilde University. Available at:
Fjalland, E. L. P., Freudendal-Pedersen, M. and Hartmann-Petersen, K. (2017). Networked Urban Mobilities: Practices, Flows, Methods. In: Freudendal-Pedersen, M., Hartmann-Petersen, K., and Fjalland, E. L. P. eds., Experiencing Networked Urban Mobilities. Routledge, pp. 1–9.
Frank, A. W. (2012). Letting Stories Breathe. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 10.7208/chicago/9780226260143.001.0001.
Freudendal-Pedersen, M. (2009). Mobility in daily life, between freedom and unfreedom. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate.
Freudendal-Pedersen, M. (2014). Ethics and Responsibilities. In: Adey, P. et al. eds., The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities. London: Routledge, pp. 143–53.
Freudendal-Pedersen, M. (2015). Cyclists as Part of the City’s Organism: Structural Stories on Cycling in Copenhagen. City & Society, vol. 27(1), pp. 30–50. doi:
Freudendal-Pedersen, M. and Kesselring, S. (2016). Mobilities, Futures & the City: repositioning discourses – changing perspectives – rethinking policies. Mobilities, vol. 11(4), pp. 575–586.
Freudendal-Pedersen, M. and Kesselring, S. (2018). Networked Urban Mobilities. In: Freudendal-Pedersen, M. and Kesselring, S. eds., Exploring Networked Urban Mobilities - Theories, Concepts, Ideas. New York: Routledge, pp. 1–18.
Gibson, K., Rose, D. B. and Fincher, R. (2015). Manifesto for Living in the Anthropocene. Brooklyn, New York: punctum books.
Giddens, A. (2009). The politics of climate change. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Graham, S. and Marvin, S. (2001). Splintering Urbanism. London: Routledge.
Gubrium, J. F. and Holstein, J. A. (2009). Analyzing Narrative Reality. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, Inc.
Le Guin, U. K. (2007). What Makes a Story, Ursula K. Le Guin Website. Ursula K. Le Guin Website. Available at: [Accessed: 10 May 2019].
Haraway, D. (1988). Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective. Feminist Studies, vol. 14(3), pp. 575–599.
Harper, D. (2002). Talking about pictures: A case for photo elicitation. Visual Studies, vol. 17(1), pp. 13–26.
Hartmann-Petersen, K. (2009). I medgang og modgang - Fleksibilitet og flygtighed i buschaufførers mobile liv. Roskilde Universitet.
Healey, P. (1993). Planning Through Debate: The Communicative Turn in Planning Theory. In: Fischer, F. and Forester, J., eds., The Argumentative Turn in Policy Analysis and Planning. London: Duke University Press, pp. 233–253.
Højgaard, L. (2007). Feministisk videnskabsfilosofi. In: Søndergaard, D. M., ed., Feministiske tænkere - en tekstsamling. Copenhagen: Hans Reitzels Forlag.
Kusenbach, M. (2003). Street Phenomenology: The Go-Along as Ethnographic Research Tool. Ethnography, vol. 4(3), pp. 455–485. 146613810343007.
Moezzi, M., Janda, K. B. and Rotmann, S. (2017). Using stories, narratives, and storytelling in energy and climate change research. Energy Research and Social Science, vol. 31(September), pp. 1–10. 06.034.
Nielsen, A. B. and Bislev, S. A. (2018). Et syn for sagen: En analyse af videnskab, materialitet og erfarings betydning for Københavns klimatilpasningspolitik. Politik, vol. 21(1), pp. 59–78.
Nielsen, K. A. and Nielsen, B. S. (2006). Methodologies in Action Research. In: Nielsen, K. A. and Svensson, L., eds., Action Research and Interactive Research: Beyond practice and theory. Maastricht: Shaker Publishing.
Nielsen, L. D. (2006). The Methods and Implication of Action Research. In: Nielsen, K. A. and Svensson, L., eds., Action Research and Interactive Research: Beyond practice and theory. Maastricht: Shaker Publishing.
Paschen, J.-A. and Ison, R. (2014). Narrative research in climate change adaptation - Exploring a complementary paradigm for research and governance. Research Policy, vol. 43(6), pp. 1083–1092.
Pink, S. (2012). Situating everyday life: Practices and places. London: SAGE.
Rose, G. (1997). Situating knowledges: positionality, reflexivities and other tactics. Progress in Human Geography, vol. 21(3), pp. 305–320.
Rüegg, P. (2019). Simultaneous heatwaves caused by anthropogenic climate change. Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich News (9 April). Available at:
Sandercock, L. (2003). Out of the closet: The importance of stories and storytelling in planning practice. Planning Theory & Practice, vol. 4(1), pp. 11–28.
Sheller, M. and Urry, J. (2006). The New Mobilities Paradigm. Environment and Planning A, vol. 38(2), pp. 207–226.
Shove, E. and Spurling, N. eds., (2013). Sustainable Practices - Social Theory and climate change. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. 71052.
Sørensen, M. and Eskjær, M. F. (2014). Klima og mennesker - Humanistiske perspektiver på klimaforandringer. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanums Forlag.
Spirn, A. W. (1984). The Granite Garden - Urban Nature and Human Design. Basic Books.
Swyngedouw, E. (2010). Apocalypse Forever? - Post-political Populism and the Spectre of Climate Change. Theory, Culture & Society, vol. 27(2–3), pp. 213–232.
Urry, J. (2000). Sociology beyond Societies - Mobilities for the twenty-first century. London: Routledge.
Urry, J. (2007). Mobilities. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Urry, J. (2011). Climate Change & Society. Polity Press.
Bennetsen, N. (2019). Living in the climate crisis: Exploring situated perspectives and openings for change through everyday life stories. Politik, 22(3).