Prithi Nambiar

A Gandhian conundrum: The ethical dilemma in the Indian sustainability discourse

While environment and sustainability are rapidly gaining currency within global discourse, fundamental constraints continue to obstruct the meaning negotiation of these terms at the community level. Drawing on symbolic interactionism, which postulates that meaning is negotiated and not inherent in objects or terms, a qualitative interpretive study was undertaken to analyse the views of opinion leaders from diverse sectors of the Indian English-speaking community. The study suggests that environment and sustainability communication needs to be synchronous with national historical and cultural narratives and value systems in order to encourage public engagement in the meaning negotiation of these terms

Keywords: sustainability, environment, environmental communication, ethics and values, public discourse


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Note on the contributor

Dr. Prithi Nambiar is Executive Director at the Centre for Environment Education, Australia. Her research interests are in the area of environment and sustainability communications. Her forthcoming publication is titled Environment and sustainability: Discursive explorations in India (New Delhi, Sage, 2013). Email: