Sustainable Consumption and the Good Life : Interdisciplinary perspectives book cover
1st Edition

Sustainable Consumption and the Good Life
Interdisciplinary perspectives

ISBN 9781138212466
Published July 27, 2016 by Routledge
266 Pages

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Book Description

What does it mean to live a good life in a time when the planet is overheating, the human population continues to steadily reach new peaks, oceans are turning more acidic, and fertile soils the world over are eroding at unprecedented rates? These and other simultaneous harms and threats demand creative responses at several levels of consideration and action.

Written by an international team of contributors, this book examines in-depth the relationship between sustainability and the good life. Drawing on wealth of theories, from social practice theory to architecture and design theory, and disciplines, such as anthropology and environmental philosophy, this volume promotes participatory action-research based approaches to encourage sustainability and wellbeing at local levels. It covers topical issues such the politics of prosperity, globalization, and indigenous notions of "the good life" and happiness". Finally it places a strong emphasis on food at the heart of the sustainability and good life debate, for instance binding the global south to the north through import and exports, or linking everyday lives to ideals within the dream of the good life, with cookbooks and shows.

This interdisciplinary book provides invaluable insights for researchers and postgraduate students interested in the contribution of the environmental humanities to the sustainability debate.

Table of Contents

1. Enough Is Enough? Re-Imagining an Ethics and Aesthetics of Sustainability for the 21st Century Lawrence Buell  2. The Essayistic Spirit of Utopia Thorunn Gullaksen Endreson  3. Towards a Sustainable Flourishing: Democracy, Hedonism and the Politics of Prosperity Kate Soper  4. Is the Good Life Sustainable? A Three-Decade Study of Values, Happiness and Sustainability in Norway Ottar Hellevik  5. Well-Being and Environmental Responsibility Bengt Brülde  6. The Problem of Habits for a Sustainable Transformation Hal Wilhite 7. Well-Being in Sustainability Transitions: Making Use of Needs Felix Rauschmayer and Ines Omann 8. Human Needs and the Environment Reconciled: Participatory Action-Research for Sustainable Development in Peru Mònica Guillen-Royo  9. On the Good Life and Rising Electricity Consumption in Rural Zanzibar Tanja Winther  10. Celebrity Chefs, Ethical Food Consumption, and the Good Life Karen Lykke Syse  11. Follow the Food. How Eating and Drinking Shape Our Cities Jesper Pagh  12. Caged Welfare. Evading the Good Life for Egg Laying Hens Kristian Bjørkdahl  13. Being Salmon, Being Human. Notes on an Ecological Turn in the Modern Narrative Tradition Martin Lee Mueller  14. Afterword: Beyond the Paradox of the Big, Bad Wolf Thomas Hylland Eriksen

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Karen Lykke Syse is Associate Professor at the Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo, Norway.

Martin Lee Mueller is a research fellow at the Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo, Norway.


"Unlimited growth has not only damaged the biosphere, but also disrupted solidarity and cohesion within and between human groups. Sustainability Consumption and the Good Life presents and questions various adaptations to the environmental crises. The book is timely as it challenges and reframes issues of consumption and well-being to meet the demands of an overheating planet."Peder Anker, New York University, USA

"Living well is an aspiration freighted with environmental, economic and ethical import. It pulses through contemporary society, just as it did the ancient world. In this book, affirmative responses are found to critical questions about new designs for life, always mindful of twenty-first century challenges. It gives us insights into how consumptive habits can become more just and wise, as well as answerable to needs and relations scaled from the personal to the planetary. In these pages, our own reckoning is identified as the means for a powerful reawakening." –Hayden Lorimer, University of Glasgow, UK