Thinking habits into action: The role of knowledge and process in questioning household consumption practices

Kersty Hobson*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    210 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Despite occupying a central place in the sustainable development paradigm, calls for individuals in high-income countries to adopt patterns of sustainable consumption have failed to gain ground in the past decade. The low uptake of public messages that emphasise links between the environment and the home are caused by a plethora of 'barriers to action', which range from individual circumstances to public norms and structures. This article argues that in addition to these barriers, consideration of how individuals read and react to sustainable consumption information is important. Based on interviews with participants of a sustainable behaviour change programme called Action at Home, this article considers both how, and in what form, knowledge is mobilised when individuals rethink their personal practices. Using Giddens' structuration theory, a framework is presented. This framework emphasises the importance of 'known' or 'local' information, as well as discursive processes, in addressing individual consumption practices and argues that a 'cultural politics' of sustainable consumption needs to be factored into on-going academic and policy debates.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)95-112
    Number of pages18
    JournalLocal Environment
    Volume8
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2003

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