New technology in everyday life - social processes and environmental impact.

Inge Røpke

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    In the environmental debate it is increasingly acknowledged that our way of life has profound environmental consequences. Therefore, it becomes ever more important to focus on and to understand how everyday life is formed and how it changes over time. Changing technology constitutes an important aspect both of changes in everyday life and of the environmental impact of everyday-life activities. Technological change is often seen as an important part of the solutions to environmental problems, however, when technological change is seen from the perspective of everyday life, this image becomes more complex. In this paper technological changes are explored from the perspective of consumption and everyday life, and it is argued that environmental impacts arise through the interplay of technology, consumption and everyday life. Firstly, because technological renewals form integral parts of several of the dynamic forces behind consumption and thus contribute to the growing quantities of consumption, which counteract the environmental improvements. Secondly, because some of the technological changes are integrated with the processes which change everyday life more profoundly and thus influence the environment in the long run. The paper points to the need for further studies of the long term interplay between new technologies, everyday life and the environment.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEcological Economics
    Pages (from-to)403-422
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


    • Consumption
    • Everyday life
    • Technological change


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