Connection with nature is an oxymoron: A political ecology of “nature-deficit disorder”

Robert Fletcher*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


It has become commonplace to argue that greater “connection with nature” is needed to mobilize support for both biodiversity conservation and environmentalism generally, and hence to call for more effective environmental education to achieve this. I employ a political ecology lens to problematize this increasingly conventional wisdom by highlighting the ways in which a sense of separation from “nature” is in fact paradoxically reinforced by the very environmental education and related practices employed to overcome it. In response, I call for greater interrogation of the concept of “nature” as well as the political-economic structures driving environmental degradation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-233
JournalJournal of Environmental Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • connection with nature
  • nature-deficit disorder
  • political ecology


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