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Identifying and resisting the technological drift: green space, blue space and ecotherapy

Ed Lord, Michael Coffey Orcid Logo

Social Theory & Health, Volume: 19, Issue: 1, Pages: 110 - 125

Swansea University Authors: Ed Lord, Michael Coffey Orcid Logo

Abstract

There has been a growing interest in recent years into the health and well-being benefits of natural ‘green’ and ‘blue’ spaces. This theoretical paper presents a critical review of the proposed ways to operationalise these benefits for mental health. Following the social theories of Ellul and Bohme—...

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Published in: Social Theory & Health
ISSN: 1477-8211 1477-822X
Published: 2021
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa48799
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first_indexed 2019-02-21T20:05:41Z
last_indexed 2021-02-25T04:09:58Z
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spelling 2021-02-24T10:29:52.3709424 v2 48799 2019-02-12 Identifying and resisting the technological drift: green space, blue space and ecotherapy b18ddb213fe27221edc75356c9eef39d Ed Lord Ed Lord true false 12112bd2ce15561464c98607f3a8eb0b 0000-0002-0380-4704 Michael Coffey Michael Coffey true false 2019-02-12 HNU There has been a growing interest in recent years into the health and well-being benefits of natural ‘green’ and ‘blue’ spaces. This theoretical paper presents a critical review of the proposed ways to operationalise these benefits for mental health. Following the social theories of Ellul and Bohme—in which technology is defined as a system of rules and rationality rather than devices and hardware—we propose that a process of ‘technological drift’ occurs when a body of evidence is put into practice in human activities (operationalised). We identify a technological colonisation of nature, in which nature itself is assimilated into a technological niche to act as a ‘technical solution to a technical problem’. Examples of this are the use of medical language like ‘dose’ and ‘prescription’, the attempt to separate effect mechanisms and pathways and the professionalisation and division of labour. Technological drift in nature exposure and health is congruent with a wider efficiency culture that reduces nature to a resource for human use. In conclusion, we propose that nature exposure could be not just an adjunct to healthcare systems but also disruptive to them in a positive and emancipatory way. Journal Article Social Theory & Health 19 1 110 125 1477-8211 1477-822X Mental Health. Ecotherapy. Green space. Nature. Technology. Jacques Ellul 23 2 2021 2021-02-23 10.1057/s41285-019-00099-9 COLLEGE NANME Nursing COLLEGE CODE HNU Swansea University 2021-02-24T10:29:52.3709424 2019-02-12T08:51:33.2560980 Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences School of Health and Social Care - Public Health Ed Lord 1 Michael Coffey 0000-0002-0380-4704 2 0048799-26022019142733.pdf 48799.pdf 2019-02-26T14:27:33.8970000 Output 728466 application/pdf Accepted Manuscript true 2020-02-26T00:00:00.0000000 true eng
title Identifying and resisting the technological drift: green space, blue space and ecotherapy
spellingShingle Identifying and resisting the technological drift: green space, blue space and ecotherapy
Ed Lord
Michael Coffey
title_short Identifying and resisting the technological drift: green space, blue space and ecotherapy
title_full Identifying and resisting the technological drift: green space, blue space and ecotherapy
title_fullStr Identifying and resisting the technological drift: green space, blue space and ecotherapy
title_full_unstemmed Identifying and resisting the technological drift: green space, blue space and ecotherapy
title_sort Identifying and resisting the technological drift: green space, blue space and ecotherapy
author_id_str_mv b18ddb213fe27221edc75356c9eef39d
12112bd2ce15561464c98607f3a8eb0b
author_id_fullname_str_mv b18ddb213fe27221edc75356c9eef39d_***_Ed Lord
12112bd2ce15561464c98607f3a8eb0b_***_Michael Coffey
author Ed Lord
Michael Coffey
author2 Ed Lord
Michael Coffey
format Journal article
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container_volume 19
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publishDate 2021
institution Swansea University
issn 1477-8211
1477-822X
doi_str_mv 10.1057/s41285-019-00099-9
college_str Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences
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hierarchy_top_title Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences
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hierarchy_parent_title Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences
department_str School of Health and Social Care - Public Health{{{_:::_}}}Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences{{{_:::_}}}School of Health and Social Care - Public Health
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description There has been a growing interest in recent years into the health and well-being benefits of natural ‘green’ and ‘blue’ spaces. This theoretical paper presents a critical review of the proposed ways to operationalise these benefits for mental health. Following the social theories of Ellul and Bohme—in which technology is defined as a system of rules and rationality rather than devices and hardware—we propose that a process of ‘technological drift’ occurs when a body of evidence is put into practice in human activities (operationalised). We identify a technological colonisation of nature, in which nature itself is assimilated into a technological niche to act as a ‘technical solution to a technical problem’. Examples of this are the use of medical language like ‘dose’ and ‘prescription’, the attempt to separate effect mechanisms and pathways and the professionalisation and division of labour. Technological drift in nature exposure and health is congruent with a wider efficiency culture that reduces nature to a resource for human use. In conclusion, we propose that nature exposure could be not just an adjunct to healthcare systems but also disruptive to them in a positive and emancipatory way.
published_date 2021-02-23T03:57:14Z
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