Discursive Tensions in Green Care – Communication, Collaboration and Policy Formation

Mark S. Hopfenbeck, Ragnfrid E. Kogstad, Jan Kaare Hummelvoll


This article investigates how discursive tensions concerning language use and worldviews amongst Norwegian actors in Green Care services influence communication, collaboration and the dynamics of policy formation. The study combines qualitative content analysis and discourse analysis based on individual interviews and multi-stage focus group interviews. It focuses on a critical perspective in the analysis of interests and perspectives that dominate the field of Green Care. The study shows how Green Care is understood based on the actors’ perceptions of the users’ problem situation and their recovery process. The results also highlight the conditions for good communication and collaboration amongst the actors in the field. The overarching challenge for the actors involved is in creating cultural change where both the ‘green’ and ‘care’ are seen as legitimate qualities. Green Care must be continually explored and nuanced based on the healing potential inherent in both nature and basic human compassion. Adequate meeting places for the actors involved should be established in order to develop a mutual understanding of each other’s interests, intentions and perspectives. In doing so Green Care can become a form of social and environmental entrepreneurship integrating the value of community, the autonomy of individual voices, natural and social connectedness, and the importance of supportive relationships on the path towards recovery.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jsss.v3i2.8059


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Copyright (c) 2016 Mark S. Hopfenbeck, Ragnfrid E. Kogstad, Jan Kaare Hummelvoll

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Journal of Social Science Studies ISSN 2329-9150

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