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Energy consumption and everyday life: Choice, values and agency through a practice theoretical lens

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Journal of Consumer Culture

Published online on


In policy and research, there is increasing recognition that the scale of transitions necessary for a low carbon society will require significant reductions in energy demand. Concurrently, advancing knowledge about energy practices has been highlighted as important in developing a basis for the delivery of less energy intensive configurations. In this article, we examine interview (participant n = 53) and visual (photographic) data collected across two UK communities to develop understanding of energy consumption as part of everyday life. We conduct our analysis through a practice theoretical lens, in particular drawing on Bourdieu’s concepts, to develop social theoretically informed interpretations of energy demand and its constitution through daily practice. We conclude reflecting on the implications of our analysis for conceptualising societal change and the role of policy in reducing energy demand.