More-Than-Human Contributions to Place-Based Social Inclusion in Community Gardens

Bethaney Turner, Jessica Abramovic, Cathy Hope

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review

Abstract

Community gardens are sites capable of enhancing community belonging and social inclusion, particularly for vulnerable and disadvantaged groups such as migrants and refugees. In this chapter, the authors identify the necessity of expanding conceptions of community and social in these sites to include more-than-humans, notably ecological and climatic conditions. Doing so can support the design of spaces and programs best able to contribute to the well-being, recovery, and social inclusion of those who have suffered traumas associated with forced migration. Such outcomes are shown to be most effectively realized through the creation of safe, therapeutic landscapes which take seriously participants embodied, multisensorial experiences of disconnection from known cultural processes and familiar ecological conditions. Through access to land, communities of support, and a sense of psychological ownership of garden plots, refugees and migrants are able to productively experiment with food producing in their resettlement context. This experimentation can lead to crop failures, reinforcing the unfamiliarity of new homes and threatening the well-being of participants. However, through embodied, multisensorial attunement to new environments, participants can also develop a sense of ecological belonging that can contribute to realization of a stretched form of social inclusion that reflects the critical role of human/more-than-human entanglements in supporting positive resettlement experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Social Inclusion
Subtitle of host publicationResearch and Practices in Health and Social Sciences
PublisherSpringer
Pages1-19
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9783030482770
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

Publication series

NameHandbook of Social Inclusion

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