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Why mundane energy use matters: energy biographies, attachment and identity

Groves, Christopher, Henwood, Karen, Shirani, Fiona, Thomas, Gareth and Pidgeon, Nicholas 2017. Why mundane energy use matters: energy biographies, attachment and identity. Energy Research and Social Science 10.1016/j.erss.2017.06.016
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Abstract

In recent years, debates about energy justice have become increasingly prominent. However, the question of what is at stake in claims about energy justice or injustice is a complex one. Signifying more than simply the fair distribution of quantities of energy, energy justice also implies issues of procedural justice (participation) and recognition (acknowledgement of diverse values constitutive of ways of life). It is argued that this requires an acknowledgement of why energy use matters in everyday life. Data from the Energy Biographies project at Cardiff University is used to explore connections between the relational texture of everyday life and the ethical significance of energy. In particular, it is demonstrated that embodiment, attachment and narrative are features of sense-making that contribute significantly to everyday understandings of the ethical meanings of different ways of using energy. Using multimodal and biographical qualitative social science allows these implicit forms of evaluation to become more tangible, along with the relationships between them. Conceiving of energy consumers as subjects with biographies, with attachments, and as engaged bodily in energy consumption can open up, it is suggested, different ways of enacting the procedural and recognition aspects of energy justice.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Energy transitions, energy justice, energy ethics, social practices, attachment, narrative, biography
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 2214-6296
Funders: Economic and Social Reseach Council
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2017 10:50
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/101853

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