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Examining the Dynamics of Energy Demand through a Biographical Lens

Catherine Butler, Karen Anne Parkhill, Fiona Shirani, Karen Henwood and Nick Pidgeon

Keywords: BIOGRAPHY; CONSUMPTION; LIFE-COURSE; LOW CARBON TRANSITIONS; SOCIAL CHANGE; SOCIAL REPRODUCTION

Abstract

It is widely recognized that a major challenge in low carbon transitioning is the reduction of energy consumption. This implies a significant level of transformation in our ways of living, meaning the challenge is one that runs deep into the fabric of our personal lives. In this article we combine biographical research approaches with concepts from Bourdieu's practice theory to develop understanding of processes of change that embed particular patterns of energy consumption. Through an analysis of “case biographies” we show the value of biographical methods for understanding the dynamics of energy demand.

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