Theories of practice - new inspiration for ecological economic studies on consumption

Inge Røpke

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    The dynamics behind ever-increasing consumption have long been a core issue of ecological economics. Studies on this topic have traditionally drawn not only on insights from economics, but also from such disciplines as sociology, anthropology and psychology. In recent years, a practice theory approach has emerged in sociological consumption studies, as part of a general wave of renewed interest in practice theory emanating from a desire to move beyond such dominant dualisms as the structure-actor opposition in sociology. The purpose of this paper is to introduce the practice theory approach in relation to studies of everyday life, domestic practices and consumption, and to argue that this approach can be fruitful for ecological economics and other fields interested in the environmental aspects of consumption. The paper emphasizes the immense challenge involved in promoting sustainable consumption, and the need for collective efforts supported by research into the co-evolution of domestic practices, systems of provision, supply chains and production.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEcological Economics
    Issue number10
    Pages (from-to)2490-2497
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


    • Everyday life
    • Practice theory
    • Consumption and environment
    • Co-evolution


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