Living together but apart: material geographies of everyday sustainability in extended family households
AbstractIn the Industrialized West, ageing populations and cultural diversity—combined with rising property prices and extensive years spent in education—have been recognized as diverse factors driving increases in extended family living. At the same time, there is growing awareness that household size is inversely related to per capita resource consumption patterns, and that urgent problems of environmental sustainability are negotiated, on a day-to-day basis (and often unconsciously), at the household level. This paper explores the sustainability implications of everyday decisions to fashion, consume, and share resources around the home, through the lens of extended family households. Through interviews with extended family households in Australia, we explore the potential for these living arrangements to reduce resource use, and thus improve sustainability outcomes. In these households, a desire to care for and support family members in hard times (rather than an overt sustainability agenda) has promoted particular modes of extended family living, including unique forms of sharing and pooling material goods. But cultural values of privacy, space, and independence—and the sanctity of the nuclear family—have led to duplication (and even multiplication) of household spaces, appliances, and resources, under one roof. The potential environmental and economic benefits of resource sharing within larger households are thus mediated by deep cultural values and exigencies of everyday life. Keywords: sustainability, everyday life, extended family households, materiality, home, individualism, appliances, Australia
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Pion Ltd, London in its journal Environment and Planning A.
Volume (Year): 44 (2012)
Issue (Month): 9 (September)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.pion.co.uk
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Neil Hammond).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.