Special Interest Group on Sustainable Behaviour


17 January 2023
16:00 - 17:00

Transition Pain

In this session, Kristina Bogner will present her work on Transition pain.

Understanding phases of exnovation and breakdown in transition-in-the-making (Hebinck et al. 2022) as well as dealing with (e.g. (non-)followers’) negative emotions seems crucial in the course of potentially politically difficult phase-outs (Rinscheid et al. 2021) to prevent or reduce resistance to change (Köhler et al. 2019) or even political and social radicalisation.

Nevertheless, the role of collective emotions, psychological pain, and collective coping responses to these emotions, are surprisingly under-researched in sustainability transitions studies (Martiskainen and Sovacool, 2021, Feola and Jaworska, 2019). Other fields, especially psychology, sociology, organization studies but also feminist theories, have started investigating change recipients’ emotions and reactions to (imposed) change (e.g. Brusoni et al. 2019, Choi, 2011; Haltinner and Sarathchandra 2018, Oreg et al. 2011). In line with recent calls for better integrating theories from the social sciences into transition studies (Geels, 2021; Köhler et al. 2019; Bögel and Upham 2018), we build on these other disciplines and suggest to mobilize an emotions and coping perspective for offering an alternative lens in transition studies and acknowledging the inherently personal dimension of transitions (Feola and  Jaworska, 2018), but also for understanding followers’ behavior to necessary (and often imposed) phase-outs in sustainability transitions.

Therefore, in the next years, I want to engage with “Coping with Transition Pain: A Perspective For Sustainability Transitions Research”.

In the meeting, I would like to discuss my research design ideas, the methods, data, and the empirical case.