Climate change is widely agreed to be one the greatest challenges facing society today. Mitigating and adapting to it is certain to require new ways of living. Thus far efforts to promote less resource-intensive habits and routines have centred on typically limited understandings of individual agency, choice and change. This book shows how much more the social sciences have to offer.
The contributors to Sustainable Practices: Social Theory and Climate Change come from different disciplines – sociology, geography, economics and philosophy – but are alike in taking social theories of practice as a common point of reference. This volume explores questions which arise from this distinctive and fresh approach:
- how do practices and material elements circulate and intersect?
- how do complex infrastructures and systems form and break apart?
- how does the reproduction of social practice sustain related patterns of inequality and injustice?
This collection shows how social theories of practice can help us understand what societal transitions towards sustainability might involve, and how they might be achieved. It will be of interest to students and researchers in sociology, environmental studies, geography, philosophy and economics, and to policy makers and advisors working in this field.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements. 1. Sustainable Practices: Social Theory and Climate Change Part 1: How Are Practices Defined and How Do They Change? 2. What Sort of a Practice Is Eating? 3. The Edge of Change: On the Emergence, Persistence, and Dissolution of Practices Part 2: The Materials of Practice 4. Transitions In the Wrong Direction? Digital Technologies and Daily Life 5. Mundane Materials At Work: Paper In Practice Part 3: Sharing and Circulation 6. Practices, Movement and Circulation: Implications for Sustainability 7. Sharing Conventions: Communities of Practice and Thermal Comfort Part 4: Relations Between Practices 8. Building Future Systems of Velomobility 9. The Making of Electric Cycling 10. Extended Bodies and the Geometry of Practices Part 5: Sustainability, Inequality and Power 11. Power, Sustainability and Well Being: An Outsider’s View 12. Inequality, Sustainability and Capability: Locating Justice In Social Practice
Elizabeth Shove is Professor of Sociology at Lancaster University and held an ESRC climate change leadership fellowship on Transitions in Practice. Recent publications include The Dynamics of Social Practice: everyday life and how it changes, with Mika Pantzar and Matt Watson (Sage, 2012).
Nicola Spurling is Research Associate in the Sustainable Practices Research Group at Manchester University. Her research explores how social practices change, focusing on intersections of policy, institutions and individual biographies.