WHP Logo

The White Horse Press

Environmental Values

Contents of Volume 25

Other volumes of EV

Environmental Values

Invested in Unsustainability? On the Psychosocial Patterning of Engagement in Practices

Christopher Groves, Karen Henwood, Fiona Shirani, Catherine Butler, Karen Parkhill and Nick Pidgeon

Environmental Values 25 (2016): 309-328. doi: 10.3197/096327116X14598445991466

Download reference in Endnote or BibTex format


Understanding how and why practices may be transformed is vital for any transition towards socio-environmental sustainability. However, theorising and explaining the role of individual agency in practice change continues to present challenges. In this paper we propose that theories of practice can be usefully combined with a psychosocial framework to explain how agency is biographically patterned and how this patterning is a product of attachment relationships and emergent strategies for dealing with uncertainty. Biographical interview data from the project Energy Biographies is used to illustrate the ways in which this theoretical approach can enhance understanding of how potential for practice change may be opened up or obstructed.


Attachment, identity, narrative methods, practice theory, uncertainty.

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Social Practice and the Evolution of Personal Environmental Values. Sarah Hards

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Social Ecological Transformation and the Individual. Clive L. Spash

Texturing Waste: Attachment and Identity in Every-Day Consumption and Waste Practices. Gareth Thomas, Christopher Groves, Karen Henwood, Nick Pidgeon

Download full text (PDF format) from IngentaConnect. Access is free if your institution subscribes to Environmental Values.

Subscriptions and back numbers of Environmental Values.

Other papers in this volume

The Old Vicarage, Winwick
Cambridgeshire, PE28 5PN, UK
Tel: +44 1832 293222