category maintenance


Embedded in a culture dominated by anthropocentrism (Bell & Russell, 1999; Smith, 2006) and continual reinscription of humans as superior to and separate from 'nature' (Plumwood, 2002) it is often difficult to conceive that intentional co-creation of meaning with that 'lesser' world is possible.


Engaging in and speaking of this engagement has meant, in many instances, dwelling in what has felt like the margins of academia (see Blain, Ezzy & Harvey, 2004), and encountering continual "category maintenance," those disciplining acts, often asserted through both subtle and overt peer and institutional pressures, which determine what acceptable performance of particular subject positions can be (Davies, 2000a; see Whitehouse, 2000, for a description of her experiences of category maintenance for expressly speaking of herself as having porous boundaries).



...if dominant notions of nature are socially constructed, they can be reconstituted.