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Reframing Individual Responsibility for Sustainable Consumption: Lessons from Environmental Justice and Ecological Citizenship

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  • Lucie Middlemiss
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    Abstract

    In this paper I consider the concept of responsibility within sustainable consumption. The paper was inspired by interviews with individuals engaged in community action for sustainability, where respondents held a rather individualistic conception of responsibility. In order to develop a deeper understanding of responsibility I compare sustainable consumption, environmental justice and ecological citizenship literatures. This leads me to develop a new conceptual framework which explains responsibility in relation to the ecological footprint. This framework recognises both the responsibility of the individual for sustainable practice and the limitations on individual action due to their context. It also allows for differentiation between individuals' responsibilities given people's circumstances and their ability to engage with change.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by White Horse Press in its journal Environmental Values.

    Volume (Year): 19 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 2 (May)
    Pages: 147-167

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    Handle: RePEc:env:journl:ev19:ev1907

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    Web page: http://www.erica.demon.co.uk

    Related research

    Keywords: Sustainable consumption; ecological footprint; responsibility; individualisation; practice theory;

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    Cited by:
    1. Sarah Hards, 2011. "Social Practice and the Evolution of Personal Environmental Values," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 20(1), pages 23-42, February.
    2. Diana Mincyte, 2012. "How milk does the world good: vernacular sustainability and alternative food systems in post-socialist Europe," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 41-52, March.
    3. Ty Raterman, 2012. "Bearing the Weight of the World: On the Extent of an Individual's Environmental Responsibility," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 21(4), pages 417-436, November.
    4. Clive L. Spash, 2012. "Response and Responsibility," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 21(4), pages 391-376, November.

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