Measuring sustainability in households: Interpretations and strategies.

Jesper Ole Jensen

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearch


The paper discusses the connection between “green behaviour” and the metering data of household consumption (electricity, heating, water), based on experiences on this from recent Danish studies. It is discussed, how everyday understandings of “green behaviour” are related to the overall household consumption. It indicates that the residents “green behaviour” often are overshadowed by consumption practices in other areas, and that such practices often are rooted in quite different rationales than environmental awareness. These findings are discussed in the light of Pierre Bourdieu’s “economy of symbolic goods” (Bourdieu, 1998) parallels are drawn between “green behaviour” and gift-giving. It is argued that the social structures underlying consumption and green behaviour should be recognised in the formulation of environmental policies, and that instead of “selling” the green message as “environmental awareness”, more reflexive strategies should be considered.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2004
Publication statusPublished - 2004
EventISEE-conference - Montreal, Canada
Duration: 1 Jan 2004 → …


CityMontreal, Canada
Period01/01/2004 → …


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