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Environmental Values

Everyday Life Ecologies: Crisis, Transitions and the Aesth-Etics of Desire

Alice Dal Gobbo

Environmental Values 29 (2020): 397-416. doi: 10.3197/096327120X15868540131297

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Everyday life practices are one of the focuses of interest for so-called 'sustainable transitions'. Efforts in making daily life more ecological have ranged from awareness-raising and behaviour change strategies to socio-technical innovations, but have produced limited results so far. In a present characterised by a prolonged and multifaceted crisis it is imperative that, as social scientists, we interrogate the (un)sustainability of everyday practices from a more critical angle, linking them to reflections about capitalism's ecological destructiveness. One fruitful way of doing so is to interrogate the dimension of subjectivity as a space where collective discourses, practices and desires are embodied in concrete experience and actions. Drawing on ethnographic material on everyday energy use, I suggest that contemporary ways of living certainly contribute to the overall reproduction of capitalism and yet, in the (dis)juncture of the crisis, more sustainable livelihoods can be experimented with and prefigured. Subjectivity is one crucial dimension in which this process unravels.


Everyday life, sustainability, subjectivity, political ecology, crisis, ethics

REFERENCES to other Environmental Values articles

Morality and Climate Change: Is Leaving your TV on Standby a Risky Behaviour? Catherine Butler

Editorial: Varieties of Non-Anthropocentricism: Duty, Beauty, Knowledge and Reality. Marion Hourdequin

Reframing Tacit Human-Nature Relations: An Inquiry into Process Philosophy and the Philosophy of Michael Polanyi. Roope Oskari Kaaronen

Nature, Engagement, Empathy: Yijing as a Chinese Ecological Aesthetics. Qi Li, John Ryan

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

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: Days of Decision. Clive L. Spash

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