This chapter argues that there is a need for research and policy that focuses on householders as stakeholders, and how people influence each other’s assumptions about normal and expected behaviours, that is, the meso level of social organisation, especially households and face-to-face social networks. Dominant neo-liberal political strategies have emphasised the role of individual citizen consumers’ in making consumption choices and downplay the more collective forms of social action visible in socio-cultural analysis. In material culture studies object and subject are often posed in a dialectical relationship, drawing on Marxian traditions of thought. There has been a long-running tension between environmental sciences, which focus on the agency of nature, and the social sciences, which focus on human agency. Neo-liberal governance approaches stress the roles and responsibilities of individual decision makers; however systems of infrastructure and provisioning often establish the parameters for such decisions.
|Title of host publication||Material Geographies of Household Sustainability|
|Editors||Ruth Lane, Andrew Gorman-Murray|
|Place of Publication||Farnham Surrey England|
|Publisher||Ashgate Publishing Limited|
|Number of pages||16|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|