Marlyne Sahakian and Harold Wilhite: Making practice theory practicable: Towards more sustainable forms of consumption

In Journal of Consumer Culture, Sage Journals


In recent years, there has been growing interest in applying social practice theory to theorizing consumption, specifically in relation to transforming practices that have problematic environmental impacts. In this paper, we address the questions: how do changes in practices occur, and what are the levers for influencing change towards more sustainable consumption practices? We argue that a view of agency distributed across people, things and social contexts is fruitful. We also explore learning through membership in communities of practice, where people are involved in experiments with or exposure to new practices. We relate three case studies in the arena of food consumption practices then discuss the practicalities and pitfalls involved in translating social practice approaches into practicable recommendations for encouraging more sustainable forms of consumption.

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Published Mar. 11, 2014 9:53 AM - Last modified Mar. 17, 2014 1:29 PM