Space, place, and phenomenological encounter; towards an embodied approach to human rights in the context of a hanging climate

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Turner, Ruth
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A changing climate is something for which grips the globe in its entirety. In this essence, negotiating the variegated geographies of a changing climate and, least not orienting ourselves within uncertain environmental futures, necessitates intuitive modes of thinking within the human rights research paradigm. Accordingly, taking space as its primary source of inquiry, this thesis seeks to explore the textured dimensions of place in order to unpack how people in everyday spaces and places grapple with and navigate the complexities global environmental change demands. As it will be argued, spatial embodiment—that is, the complex ways we experience space emotionally, spiritually, tangibly—offers a rich response to the scalar challenges faced by the climate-change-human-rights hegemony. In accordance, the primary interest of this research is to sketch a conceptual frame for comprehending socio-spatial relations and their affinity to meaningfully impact the climate-change-human-rights discussions. In order to do so, this research deploys a phenomenological gaze so as to get-to-grips with understanding everyday socio-spatial relations. Through this mode of inquiry, it is possible to investigate how the climate crisis may be regarded as a productive rather than paralysing event for the everyday rights subject. This thesis posits that interactions between embodied geographies, phenomenology and a changing climate is a fruitful locus of investigation for the human rights doctrine to take into consideration, contending that description, imagination, embodiment and emotion have an affinity to (re)energise the rights discipline, at the everyday level during this time of environmental turmoil.
Second semester University: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
climatic changes, human rights, philosophical aspects, environment, psychological aspects