How to be good

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Conference presentation at BSA 2014

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<ul><li> 1. Dr Catherine Butler Collaborators: Fiona Shirani, Karen Parkhill, Karen Henwood, Chris Groves, Nick Pidgeon BSA Annual Conference 2014 23-25 April </li></ul> <p> 2. Energy Biographies project outline Theory and questions knowledge and competence as an integral part of practice Exploring the data discourse that gives insight about knowledge and competence with regard to sustainable practices 3. Energy use as part of everyday life and the life course Four case sites across the UK Qualitative longitudinal methods (interviewing and visual methods) Phase 1 Case site community leader interviews Phase 2 Qualitative interviews n= 68 Phase 3 2 rounds of follow-up interviews (n= 36) Visual methods in between Royal Free Hospital , London Peterston and Ely Caerau, Cardiff Tir Y Gafel Eco- village, Pembrokes hire 4. Practices entail entanglements between (socio-cultural) meanings, materials (including things, technologies, infrastructures), and competencies, which refers to know- how, skill and technique Change in practices occurs when connections between elements of these three types are made, sustained, or broken (2012: 14) Distinguish between elements for analytic purposes focusing on competences and know-how (Shove, Pantzar and Watson, 2012) 5. How to be Good? Which knowledges and competencies are apparent with regards to sustainable practice? How do these relate to meanings and materials? What might this mean for the transformation of practices? Knowing the Problem Is reflexive awareness necessary to facilitate change of a particular kind? What kinds of knowledges or problematisations exist and how do they matter for transforming practices and sustainability? Awareness of the issues associated with sustainability Meanings of un/sustainability narratives of sustainability Knowledge about what constitutes sustainable action Questioning and uncertainty 6. I kept talking to somebody the other day about how, what was best to do with the heating. I didnt know whether it was best to have it on really low for a long period of time or to have it high for a short period of time. And I tried to Google it but I couldnt find out the answer. (Paula) Sometimes youll have something thats made out of cardboard and youre not quite sure if it can be recycled so everyone is a bit worried so they just stick it in the rubbish just to be safe (Phoebe) Then again I'm never sure energy and environment-wise whether you're better off washing up or dishwashing. People say different things but I actually don't know which is best. (Steve) 7. So I think that was my first concern because I don't suppose you see that. I can't see the future of global warming and what will happen to the environment but I can see someone who is like freezing in their house and I know what that feels like. I know what it feels like to be cold and not have money for heating and have access to heating. So I suppose that's why that was my priority cos I know what that feels like whereas I am being told this is going to happen but I can't actually see it. (Kelly) Well, from my point of view I feel that roofs are 'wasted space' and that if everybody could put panels on their roofs it might make a huge difference. On the other hand, there's controversy about the amount of energy that's used to make the panels, so it's a difficult area (Margaret) 8. The thing is all the research said none of them were gonna need building regulations because none of them were permanent dwellings. So in a completely nave way I just thought Ill take that as the truth. Wed never built something before, it took us nine months to build and then six months after wed finished it they come along and said you need building regs on it how can we do that? (Julia) 9. This is one of the things, if you send them to like mainstream school, then like everyone there has got like iPods and stuff like that and everyone is face timing which is an expression, I didnt know what it was [laughter] Its amazing yeah! So Sophia, shed been nagging us for an iPod touch-and she wanted it last Christmas actually and Father Christmas failed to deliver, I think I might have mentioned that actually. It was just dreadful, she was so disappointed so we got her one this year, which we got from a shop called ecofurb which sort of takes old ones in so we could, sort of justify it on eco terms. And she loves it but I mean she is talking to her friends and their faces are there! (Graham) 10. .See, you kind of, you kind of get the impression you should think its great, that's the way we should go, and obviously Ive got mates across the road that do the Riverford boxes and stuff and only buy seasonal veg, but I just think well, I'm so used to having what I want when I want that I cant imagine not having it. But then if Id never had it that way I wouldn't know any different. I just think its the sort of ease of life nowadays over the last sort of thirty years its just progressed so much that just for people growing up now its, for me its the norm isn't it? (Matthew) 11. Questions about the particular forms of knowledge and competence that would be integral to taking up and performing sustainable practices Difficulty of knowing how to be good in terms of sustainability results in uncertainty about how to move forward default practices Connections between competences, meanings, and materials 12. Catherine Butler University of Exeter c.butler@exeter.ac.uk www.energybiograhies.org </p>