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As climate change intensifies, some people connect it to their decision to be childfree. This is largely predicated on how they imagine the future, not their current climate change realities. Examining this shows how climate change enters and affects the lifeworlds of the environmentally privileged. I ask what motivates environmentally privileged people to connect being childfree to climate change through an in-depth interview study of 15 ‘ecologically childfree’ adults, recruited through an online group, BirthStrike. I find two subsets of BirthStrikers, those who see being childfree as sacrificial and those with multiple motivations. I argue being ecologically childfree is a strategy of temporal emotion management and a way to legitimise ecological grief, a disenfranchised grief that goes unrecognised. Being childfree alters the intensity of BirthStrikers’ emotions and their temporal frames of engagement. For BirthStrikers with multiple motivations, I argue being childfree legitimises respondents’ ecological grief by demonstrating personal impact.

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The quantitative monitoring of the greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation potential of interventions is central to a living-lab approach and is a methodological challenge. Valid population data on consumption patterns and mobility behaviour are often scarce, especially when the living lab is initially set up (for example, the need for baseline data before an intervention). In the context of transportation studies, a cross-sectional survey was carried out to baseline key data on GHG emissions generated by commuting before implementing an intervention. Based on this information, the GHG emissions from commuting were calculated and analysed using a linear regression model. Results show the effects of different variables, such as the share of teleworking within a working week, the regular workplace location, and attitudes towards individual mobility and former relocation behaviour. An increase in teleworking of 10 per cent based on weekly working time leads to a reduction of approximately 60 kg of GHG (8 per cent) emissions a year. Our results serve as baseline key data to analyse upcoming (temporary) interventions (for example, new coworking spaces within our living lab). Hints for rebound effects, limitations of our study and future interventions are discussed.

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The article brings together the social psychoanalytic approach by Erich Fromm with current research on nationalism in Western democratic societies. While current research often focuses on the extreme forms of nationalism, the work of Erich Fromm contributes to an understanding of nationalism that encompasses the whole society in a world structured by nation states. The notion of a social unconscious helps to reflect upon both visible and often unnoticed forms of nationalism and links it to an interconnected understanding of psychic and social structure. With Fromm we can understand nationalism as collective narcissism which has been preceded by a loss of self-esteem. Relevant threats to self-esteem in Western democratic societies shaped by a neoliberal ideology, like individualisation and singularisation, will be outlined in the article.

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The central focus of this final chapter is on connections: the power of establishing meaningful connections in the pursuit of transformative education and the ethics and politics of building connections. Expanding on the insights of previous chapters, it considers what connecting work can or should involve so that we achieve benefits for all when we actively foster, cultivate and nurture learning opportunities that extend beyond the confines of the classroom. It demonstrates what happens when we make that commitment to dismantling normative practices, centring the communities we serve as experts holding serious knowledge; how we manage discomfort that does good harm; and refusal as transformative resistance that can tear down problematic practices. It explores the ethical and political consequences of forging meaningful connections with communities at various points, including curriculum design, the development of course materials, supporting student projects that want to connect to communities, the implementation of connected teaching methodologies and building translocal, cross-disciplinary, cross-border connected classrooms. The chapter concludes with reflections on the ideas covered across the book, pulling together the connecting threads of this critical pedagogy of migration.

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This chapter introduces the key tenets of critical pedagogy and critical consciousness through the work of Paulo Freire, Henry Giroux and bell hooks. It explores notions of public pedagogy, engaged pedagogy and educated hope, emphasizing the activist, radical, decolonizing and anti-oppressive potential of critical pedagogy, as well as its immediate relevance for ways of knowing and relating in the migration-focused classroom. The chapter introduces vocabularies and concepts that shape the book, in particular, ‘doing good harm’, referring to transformation through discomfort and the disruption of established systems and beliefs, and ‘migration literacies’, referring to the need to tune into the centrality of migration governance as a form of grammar and semantic structuring of how migration is understood politically, in public opinion, in media discourse and in the classroom. It sets out three key ideas that shape the book: critical pedagogy as a necessary confrontation with neutrality and power; interrogating migration knowledge as requiring the development of specific literacies; and learning as a multifaceted, multi-sited process. It then sets out three key interventions: recognizing the political now as historically constituted; embracing discomfort as a necessary means to enact positive change and ‘do good harm’; and acknowledging the vital role of migration literacies in disrupting and transforming the learning process.

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This study examines the childhood care experiences of women between 20 and 30 years of age from low-income households in Santiago, Chile, by employing semi-structured interviews and qualitative analysis. At present, women understand their caregiving roles as older sisters, one which burdened them with agency practices, shaping critical reflections regarding the social organisation of care and influencing their present identity. They also articulate a desire for emotional resilience, a coping mechanism previously observed in low-income neighbourhoods in Chile. While downplaying their caregiving past, they subtly reveal the weight and regret associated with their responsibilities, influencing their reluctance to become mothers in the present. This study underscores the intricate interplay of past care experiences with present decisions, revealing the impacts of empowering discourses on women’s ideals and achievements, and the inherent fragility they carry.

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Ethics, Politics and Practice in the Classroom

Migration as a taught subject is entrenched in social and political debates, with the classroom firmly framed as a site of committed social and political encounter. That means teaching migration through the prism of critical pedagogy is a political and ethical necessity.

This book invites readers to examine their own relationships with migration, ethics, politics and power. It encourages teachers, students and practitioners to think critically about their position in relation to the knowledge they both bring and gain.

With pedagogical features that provide space for reflection and discussion, this is a transformative resource in reshaping how we teach and learn about migration.

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This chapter turns to the ethical implications and consequences of developing a critical pedagogy of migration in the political now. The chapter begins with a critical exploration of what ethics has come to mean in higher education and what this can mean when it translates to the classroom. It delves into the question of knowledge production as potentially doing epistemic violence and as a deep source of harm. It explores pedagogic ethics and questions surrounding the role of emotions, affect, problematizing safety, coping with conflict and pedagogies of discomfort. A key focus of the chapter is how we ethically manage and justify discomfort in the learning process. Within this framework, the ideas of active empathy and doing good harm are introduced and offered as a way to understand how discomfort stemming from tackling challenging topics is necessary for intellectual and ethical growth. Discomfort is therefore productive of positive change, and this chapter explores how we navigate this ethical landscape in our teaching practice. It emphasizes the transformative power of discomfort and the importance of fostering critical consciousness through an active empathy that urges us to move away from passive observance and a politics of declaration towards action-oriented responses.

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This chapter addresses impact in the classroom and the role of the policy–research pipeline in driving research and teaching agendas, shaping migration governance language, and producing and privileging specific knowledge. First, it explores what the search for policy-relevant ‘useful research’ about migration means in practice and for building better migration literacies. Second, it examines how to think about impact as pedagogic practice through refusal and resistance. This chapter considers practices of resistance that interrupt what and how we learn, suggesting pedagogical methods that centre social justice and push us towards thinking ‘what if’. It offers case studies, problem-posing tasks and practical activities of collaboratively developing manifesto writing between students, teachers and practitioners. The chapter critically explores and expands on approaches that offer both possibilities and rewards as mechanisms of disruption and interruption, as well as of reimagining the doing and delivery of impact. It argues that we need careful engagement with the knotty ethical and political questions of impact in our pedagogic practice and the relationalities it centres and sidelines, not just in the classroom but beyond its walls.

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