Social Groups and Subjectivity in Modern Society: Two approaches to energy-saving conduct

Jeppe Læssøe, Peter Gundelach

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    Technical and economic approaches has been dominating the scientific research in energy consumption and energy savings. This contribution argues, from a social scientific point of view, that energy behaviour cannot be seperated from other types of behaviour and attitudes, that the individuals are not passive objects of social forces but develops coping and learning techniques, and that individual behaviour an attitudes cannot be seperated from the general socio-cultural changes in society. In order to illustrate the value of applying social scientific theory on environmental policy the authors outlines two examples. The first shows that energy research about the relation between lifestyles and energy consumption has to be aware of the change in social groups from stable communities towards partial imagined communities. Rituals and social signals are important means to constitute and maintain such communities. The acceptance or rejection of green consumption is influenced by this social dynamic. The second example attacks the widespread assumption among energy-behaviour researchers and administrators that the only way to change peoples behaviour goes from information to action. Based on psychological and pedagogical theory the example show that it it reasonable to turn the process upside down; starting up with support to action in order to promote a process which - among other things - will motivate the search and use of new informations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationMeans and strategies to influence energy-related behaviour in Europe
    Place of PublicationAmsterdam
    Publication date1996
    Publication statusPublished - 1996
    Event2nd SAVE Conference on Means and Strategies to Influence Energy-Related Behaviour in Europe - Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Duration: 30 Nov 19951 Dec 1995


    Conference2nd SAVE Conference on Means and Strategies to Influence Energy-Related Behaviour in Europe

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