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Deep Ecology as Discourse on Identity Term Paper

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Updated: May 24th, 2018


Deep ecology serves as a philosophical approach to environmentalism, and it typically argues for equal rights for all the elements that make up an ecosystem. Deep ecology contradicts with the traditional approach to environmentalism in the sense that it opposes a human centered approach. It is worth noting that deep ecology has a connection with religious aspects such as Buddhism, the spirituality of the Native Americans and ultimately Christianity.

Religious affiliations argue that there is need to have deep interconnections that integrate all the fundamental beings of the ecological system and the need to enhance the spirituality of individuals (Halifax 60). This implies that environmental advocacy groups of the global age in the 21st century are deploying ideologies such as the Earth First in attempt to maintain ecological sacredness.

This paper attempts to examine how the above ecological concepts play an important role in shaping new ideas that are relevant in influencing new approaches towards notions of the community, citizenship and spirituality during the 21st century in facilitating the creation of an ecosystem that can sustain the human life.

Ecological literacy primarily refers to having an in depth knowledge on matters concerning the natural world and the ecosystem that sustain the life on earth. For one to be ecoliterate, one must be able to understand the principles and values that govern the organization of ecosystems, and effectively deploy those values in effort to establish communities that can sustain human life.

Ecoliteracy can be perceived as an important concept that plays a significant role in the establishment of strategies that are aimed at the solution of environmental problems (Halifax 65). Environmentalist argues that the survival of our ecosystem in future will depend significantly on Ecoliteracy.

This means that it is imperative for every individual from all the spheres of life to be ecoliterate so as to enhance their survival in the future, and most importantly, it should be integrated in the education levels at all education levels. In its broadest sense, ecological literacy incorporates the understanding of literacy if place, literacy ecology and the eco-linguistic (Emerson 59).

Presently, levels of industrialization and overpopulation are increasing, posing a threat to the earth’s survival. According to Jonathan Swift, this led to the concept of drawing a correlation between the ecology and literature; in what is commonly referred to as the “green literacy” (Macy 5).

The literature of the global age incorporates all the ecological concepts associated with the literacy of the ecology, ecological linguistics and the literacy of place.

These literatures of global age are all about summing up the ecological, political and spiritual issues and attempting to arrive at a solution to the environmental crises. It is a fact that we cannot know where we are without having knowledge of who we are.

This is the literacy of place. This improvement attempts to report the implications associated with the revolutionary thinking that links literary ecology, ecological linguistics and the literacy of place. This implies that an integration of the above represents civilization that is ecologically oriented.

Basing on aspects such as multiculturalism and multilateralism, the implications of adopting a shift associated with the ecology plays an important role towards the shifting of the bioregional factors that define the conditions necessary for both human and ecological existence (Emerson 45).

Romanticism serves to be reminiscent to humanity concerning the place of nature in consciousness and the limits that humanity has can be perceived as a natural subject.

It is therefore essential to view Romanticism as playing an important role in environmentalism and providing a framework for ecological concepts. Concepts such as green criticism draw a correlation to the Romanticism (Leopold 5). The green criticism uses the opportunity to culturally influence communities towards the use of identity in an effort directed at the preservation of ecology.

It is evident that the notion of romantic approach to ecology is subject to resistance and in most cases; it is viewed as ideology that is from an illusionist perspective. It is basing on this approach that limits the humanity from thinking ecology, while at the same time it helps in the reproduction of ecological literacy.

The Romanticism revolutionary approach to ecology derives its ideas from the notions of place and recognizes the modalities associated with the “ecological humanism for global age”. This represents a useful approach to defining the new literary in terms of community and citizenship, to some extent, it denotes correlation with the spirituality of the 21st century.

In the recent times, especially during the 21st century, awareness is only guaranteed in cases of spiritual groundings and the various communicating avenues. In order to save the natural world that is gradually crumbling, writers and environmental philosophers should employ the use of language and philosophical beliefs that can be understood easily in attempt towards the rethinking of what proper citizenship and spirituality of the 21st century encompass (Slaughter 493).

During the process of establishing a discourse through which our notions of citizenship, spirituality and enhancing ecological awareness, it is essential to link the present ecology visions associated with environmentalism and practical democracy with the concepts that define what being sacred entails (Leopold 9).

This is imperative in defining the literacy of place through the use of terms such as bioregionalism and deep ecology, which in turn helps in the depiction of “a pattern of interpretation” and the consciousness that represents the relationship between an individual and an ecological place where the individual inhabits (Owen 26). The ecological place can be either local or universal, depending on the scope of the identity that it relates to.

It is also worth noting that it provides a relationship between the physical ecological space and what is deemed as being sacred. What is ultimately important is the cultivation of such like literacy of place that plays a significant role in forming a knowledge base through which the relationship between ecological literacy and identity can be established (Halifax 80).

With the knowledge base established, it is important to carry out an analysis of how the deeper structure of ecological linguistics play a role in shaping the new approaches towards the cultural and identity ecumenism associated with the global age of the 21st century.

The best approach to look at this concept is through the evaluation of the effectiveness of the approaches in shaping the discourse in ecology identity. An international relations futurist, R.A Slaughter quotes, “it has become clear that our ability to understand the world the world out there significantly depends on an underlying world of reference that is in here” (Slaughter 493).

This is further supported by the fact that there is an increasing interest associated with the role that cultural aesthetics play and spirituality plays in influencing international relations (Leopold 5).

An analysis of the relationship between faith and religion in the current world that global minded depicts its relationship with citizenship as outlined in the above assertion. The most significant aspect of deep ecology is that human beings form part of the earth; this implies that they cannot be separated from it on the basis of relativity.

In order to facilitate the process of realization of the human being, an approach commonly referred to as “re-earthing is deployed. This serves as a discourse for identity in the sense that its main objective is to promote an ecocentric approach to ecological preservation (Lopez 8).

The notion relies on the fact that we, as human beings have the responsibility to expand the self in order to help us identify with others such as fellow human beings, animals and other elements that make up the ecosystem. The underlying principle is that, the more we tend to develop the self, the more we get to identify ourselves. Warwick Fox supported the concept through what he referred to as the transpersonal psychology (Lopez 8).

In attempting to associate to the early Judeo-Christian spirituality, Norwegian environmental Philosopher, Arne Naess argues that the concept of arrogance that is fuelled mankind superiority is based on the idea that mankind exists to watch over other elements of the natural world. Human beings need to serve as the middlemen between the creation and the creator (Lopez 8).

Deep ecologists of the 21st century echoed the sentiments that it is imperative for mankind to identify his place in the ecosystem, just like other elements of the ecological community because it plays a significant role in attempting to identify ourselves.

Deep ecology, just like the various spiritual platforms, advocate for equality of all the elements found in the ecological community, including mankind as opposed to the traditional environmentalism that focuses on human being superiority thereby hindering the process of self identification (Emerson 65).

Ecological literacy has a relationship wit the experiential theories of the Buddhist traditions. Joana Macy, who is currently an anti-nuclear activist in the United States, reported in his work that the significant impediments that most deep ecology activist face is related to emotions of despair and rage that have been left unresolved (Macy 5). This denial of such emotions significantly influenced the occurrence of apathy in the 21st century.

Mankind may possess the highest intellectual levels on the ecological community, however, our culture and the criticisms to deep ecology makes mankind to be subservient to the emotions of despair and rage noted above (Macy 4). This in turn increases the anthropometric culture, thereby hindering the three basic elements of Ecoliteracy: literacy of place, literacy ecology and eco-linguistic concepts such as bioregionalism and multiculturalism (Snyder 13).

Deep ecology emphasizes on the development of the self. The realization and identification of the self with all the other elements of the ecological community plays an important role on the importance of the whole ecological unit, at the same time rejecting the supremacy of an independent being. The underlying principles behind deep ecology, especially Ecoliteracy bases on already existing theories that are governed by spirituality.

Diverse religious traditions are of the view that cultivating spirituality entails mankind immersion with the other elements of nature and removing the element of mankind superiority. Deep ecology bases its perspectives on the teachings of Gandhi and ideologies based on Buddhism. Spirituality frameworks such as Taoism and Hinduism tend to concur with the notions of the deep ecology, especially in areas the entails the elimination of mankind superiority in an ecological community (Snyder 15).

Deep ecology focuses on the exclusion of mankind in the interaction of the ecological community, this implies that the concept that it applies towards Ecoliteracy can be viewed as one that embraces the way mankind has to relate with the ecological community in order to cultivate mankind spirituality. Ethics proposed by modernist philosophers argue that rational individualism is essential for a moral discourse.

Deep ecology however focuses on the isolation of human beings from the interactions within the ecosystem so as to foster the process of self identity and realization of the place of mankind in the ecological set up (Snyder 10). Modern theorists argue that the essence of mankind lies in the non-rational elements such as feelings, values that are emotion based and virtues such as equality that are reason based (Emerson 70).

Works Cited

Emerson, Waldo Ralph. Nature and Language. The Literature Network, 5 March 2000 Web.18 February 2011

Leopold, Aldo. Thinking Like a Mountain . Web.

Lopez, Barry. “Landscape And Narrative .” (1984): 8. Print.

Macy, Joana. “The Greening Of The Self.” Nature (1990): 3-5. Print.

Owen, Louis. The American Indian Wilderness. Web.

Joan, Halifax. The Third Body: Buddhism, Shamanism, And Deep Ecology. In Simons, James. Ethics, Zen Buddhism and environmental. New York: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2004. 56-89. Print.

Slaughter, R. A. “Beyond the Mundane: reconciling breadth and depth in futures inquiry.” Futures 34.6 (2002): 493. Print.

Snyder, Gary. “Cultured Or Crabbed.” Nature (1990): 10-15. Print.

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