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.
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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