Are transition towns indicators of deinstitutionalisation of aspects of western culture?
Transition initiatives in Australia, as elsewhere, have been mooted as a means of increasing community resilience to the threats posed by peak oil, climate change and economic uncertainty. Their emergence has attracted researchers to ask questions around their purpose, effectiveness and attraction for those who participate, as well as their likely future prospects in changing attitudes and habits in their respective communities and in society as a whole. This paper contributes to the broader understanding of transition initiatives in Australia by analysing the findings from a survey conducted amongst those involved in such initiatives within a deinstitutional theory framework. It is concluded that although the emergence of these initiatives are somewhat indicative of deinstitutionalisation, this is limited. In addition, the concepts and concerns on which they are based flow only slowly into the broader community.
Keywords: transition towns, deinstitutionalisation, climate change, change determinants, pressure, western culture, Australia, peak oil, economic uncertainty, transition initiatives