ERA

Download the full-sized PDF of Reclaiming consumption: sustainability, social networks, and urban contextDownload the full-sized PDF

Analytics

Share

Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3Z60M

Download

Export to: EndNote  |  Zotero  |  Mendeley

Communities

This file is in the following communities:

Graduate Studies and Research, Faculty of

Collections

This file is in the following collections:

Theses and Dissertations

Reclaiming consumption: sustainability, social networks, and urban context Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
Sustainable consumption
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Kennedy, Emily Huddart
Supervisor and department
Krogman, Naomi (Rural Economy)
Krahn, Harvey (Sociology)
Haan, Michael (Sociology Adjunct)
Examining committee member and department
Carolan, Michael (Sociology, Colorado State University)
Adkin, Laurie (Political Science)
Department
Rural Economy
Specialization

Date accepted
2011-02-15T20:32:33Z
Graduation date
2011-06
Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Doctoral
Abstract
A social practices theoretical framework and mixed methodology are used to explore household sustainable daily practices in Edmonton, AB. Sustainable daily practices involve those actions undertaken by households to minimize their impact on the environment (e.g., cycling to avoid driving). Because social practice theory considers the reciprocity between agency and structure in establishing habitual routines, this perspective allows for the integration of competing theoretical explanations in the study of sustainable consumption (i.e., treadmill theory and consumer “lock-in”). Qualitative interviews are used to shed light on how peer-to-peer learning within a network of ecological citizens sustains individuals’ commitment to reducing consumption. Acting as a group is part of reclaiming consumption, as is the attempt to alter local social context to lessen barriers for others to live more sustainably. Barriers include built infrastructure and social norms. Members of the network described in the qualitative phase reside in a central neighbourhood. Unlike suburban neighbourhoods, the central area is within cycling distance of the downtown and university areas, has walking access to shops and services, and is adjacent to a large natural area with multi-use trails. In this central neighbourhood, residents interviewed meet frequently and informally with other households in the area also interested in sustainable living. In contrast, households interviewed in suburban areas describe a sense of isolation from like-minded others and a paucity of neighbours who inspire them to deepen their commitment to the environment (i.e., through positive reinforcement or knowledge-sharing). To further understand the influence of neighbourhood – as a structural feature – on daily practices, a survey instrument is used to compare a central urban and a suburban neighbourhood. The quantitative data are used in a cluster analysis resulting in four subgroups of households. The clusters do not differ greatly on socio-demographic variables, but are strongly differentiated by neighbourhood of residence. Thus the thesis concludes that reclaiming consumption, or reducing one’s consumption in concert with others, is more easily achieved in an area with public meeting points, the presence of other households committed to reducing consumption, and the opportunity to conspicuously display one’s daily practices around sustainable consumption.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3Z60M
Rights
License granted by Emily Huddart Kennedy (huddartk@ualberta.ca) on 2011-02-10T21:07:54Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication

File Details

Date Uploaded
Date Modified
2014-05-01T03:31:34.049+00:00
Audit Status
Audits have not yet been run on this file.
Characterization
File format: pdf (Portable Document Format)
Mime type: application/pdf
File size: 6305454
Last modified: 2015:10:12 20:36:20-06:00
Filename: Kennedy_Emily_Spring 2011.pdf
Original checksum: 048292948db07562bf7d02077f21d846
Well formed: true
Valid: true
Status message: File header gives version as 1.4, but catalog dictionary gives version as 1.3
Page count: 188
Activity of users you follow
User Activity Date