From incremental change to radical disjuncture: Rethinking everyday household sustainability practices as survival skills
Households within affluent countries are increasingly prominent in climate change adaptation research; meanwhile, social and cultural research has sought to render more complex the dynamics of domesticity and home spaces. Both bodies of work are nevertheless framed within a view of the future that is recognizable from the present, a future reached via socioecological change that is gradual rather than transformative or catastrophic. In this article, we acknowledge the agency of extreme biophysical forces and ask what everyday household life might be like in an unstable future significantly different from the present. We revisit our own longitudinal empirical research examining household sustainability and reinterpret key results in a more volatile frame influenced by political ecological work on disasters. We seek to move beyond incremental to transformative conceptions of change and invert vulnerability as capacity. Vulnerability and capacity are contingent temporally and spatially and experienced intersubjectively. The resources for survival are ultimately social and therefore compel closer scrutiny of, among other things, household life.
Gibson, C., Head, L. & Carr, C. (2015). From incremental change to radical disjuncture: Rethinking everyday household sustainability practices as survival skills. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 105 (2), 416-424.