WG 2 Practice theory – University of Copenhagen

NESS 2013 > Working groups > WG 2 Practice theory

WG 2 Practice theory

Responses to environmental and energy issues may be structural (e.g. changes of energy provision and distribution systems, agricultural reform etc), or responses may be individualist approaches, urging citizens to engage individually in pro-environmental, behavioral change, whether as consumers, producers or employees. Structural approaches tend to ignore the role of actors, whereas, on the other hand, individualist approaches tend to ignore the limited autonomy and non-sector-specific nature of individual choice, as it is embedded in an everyday life context. Practice theory moves beyond this dichotomy of actors and structures, focusing on practices, and how they (are) reproduce(d) patterns of interaction between actors, structures and technology in everyday life.

We welcome papers that analyze how practices and norms related to the environment co-evolve with the introduction of new technologies and systemic changes, identifying openings and closures to changing patterns of practices, and understanding the interplay between critical reflections of individuals over the environment and sense-making of actual practices. Papers may focus on practices related to consumption or production, or efforts at introducing sustainable and socially responsible management principles in any organizations, and they may focus on different sectors as energy, agriculture, transport, urban planning etc.


Kirsten Gram-Hanssen, University of Aalborg
Sara K. Berthou, Institute of Food & Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen