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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2017

Exploring interconnections between local ecological knowledge, professional identity and sense of place among Swedish fishers

Garavito-Bermudez, Diana; Lundholm, Cecilia


The ecological knowledge of those who interact with ecosystems in everyday-life is situated in social and cultural contexts, as well as accumulated, transferred and adjusted through work practices. For them, ecosystems represent not only places for living but also places for working and defining themselves. This paper explores psychological aspects linking LEK/IEK/TEK to identity and sense of place in the context of fishery practices and management in Sweden. We analyse how knowledge of local ecosystems connect to fishers' professional identity and their attachment to place by using the Person-Process-Place framework in integration with the Structure-Dynamic-Function framework on professional fishers in Sweden. On the basis of our results we conclude on the significance of physical as well as social and cultural features of fishing places for attachment and meaning as they are important for fishers' local and professional identities, and also for ecological knowledge generation. Furthermore, fishers' understanding of ecosystems complexity enhances their attachment and promotes positive emotions and behaviours for proximity maintenance.


fishers; LEK; sense of place; cognition; identity; natural resource management; emotions; proximity maintenance

Published in

Environmental Education Research
2017, Volume: 23, number: 5, pages: 627-655

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