Jensen, J. O. (2008). Measuring consumption in households: Interpretations and strategies. Ecological Economics, 68(1-2), 353-361. doi:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2008.03.016
The paper discusses the connection between environmental awareness and metering data on household consumption (electricity, heating, water), and it is based on recent Danish studies. It is discussed, how families' understanding of environmental awareness and environmental practices relates to their overall household consumption. The paper indicates that residents' environmental practices in everyday life are often overshadowed by consumption practices in other areas, and that such practices are often rooted in quite different rationales than environmental awareness. These findings are seen as an example of what Pierre Bourdieu calls the “economy of symbolic goods” (Bourdieu, 1998; 92), offering an explanation for why some symbolic actions apparently play a larger role than other, more environmentally serious consumption practices. From this, it is argued that the social structures underlying consumption and green behaviour should be recognised in the formulation of environmental policies, and that instead of using sustainable practices such as “environmental awareness” as a sales argument, more reflexive strategies that take consumers' preferences into account should be considered.
(2008). Measuring consumption in households: Interpretations and strategies. Ecological Economic
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