Material Geographies of Household Sustainability

Routledge
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Charting new research directions, this book constructs a series of imperatives for linking culturally informed research around household sustainability with policy and planning. The household, or 'home', is a critical scale for understanding activities that connect individual behaviours and societal attitudes. The focus on the household in this collection provides a window into the sheer diversity of homemaking and maintenance activities that entail resource use. These practices have affective or emotive dimensions as well as habitual aspects. Diversity, innovation and change at the household scale is often missed in policy approaches which assume that simplistic economic motivations drive demand and this can in turn be 'managed' through regulation or market pricing. The research challenge extends beyond describing existing unsustainable economies driving resource intensive behaviour to consider realistic options for transformations in cultural practices, material relationships and, ultimately, the political economies they sit within. Without change in these systems, government initiatives to promote ecological modernisation run the risk of simply green-washing the very economies of consumption that currently drive unsustainable practices. Social and cultural change at the household level is critical to promoting sustainability at a range of wider scales.
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About the author

Dr Ruth Lane, Senior Lecturer, Human Dimensions of Envt and Sustainability, School of Geography and Environmental Science, Monash University, Australia
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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
May 13, 2016
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Pages
254
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ISBN
9781317099451
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Language
English
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Genres
Nature / Environmental Conservation & Protection
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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There has been a profound change within the sphere of government and societal regulation in recent years. Traditional hierarchical government has been challenged by new governance instruments relying on negotiations instead of command and control. Alongside this development there has been a change in the time-framing of politics and steering. Traditional politics implicitly has been based on stability and permanence while new forms of governance explicitly are based on just-in-time actions such as projects and issue-based collaborations in networks and programs. This book analyses the implications of this shortening of time frames, focusing particularly on spatial policy interventions. Spatial policies have a special relevance when it comes to governance and new forms of societal steering. On the one hand, the local (geographical) level in politics is the principal battleground for the struggle between top down and bottom up approaches and aspirations. On the other hand, many of the most burning issues of our time require a global, strategic approach, for example, climate change, resource depletion, population growth are anchored in space and the physical world. Whether and how short-term spatial approaches can achieve sustainable development outcomes is thus a critical question, and forms the focus of this volume. The book examines the characteristics of temporary policy measures across a range of rural, urban and regional contexts, in four continents: Europe, North America, Oceania and Africa. The outcomes and effects of these policies and interventions are analysed, particularly focusing on the tension between short-term interventions and long-term effects.
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