Doctor of Philosophy
School of Geography and Sustainable Communities
This thesis offers new understandings of tiny household practices in the Australian context, where tiny house living is advocated as a sustainable option. The thesis argues for an understanding tiny household water, energy and food practices informed by the entanglement of macropolitical and micropolitical forces. The research adopts a Political Ecology of the Household analytical framework to conceptualise tiny household practices as simultaneously embedded within political economic, epistemological, and embodied forces. The water, energy and food practices associated with tiny house living are always contingent upon the intersection and mediation of these forces, which comprise everyday life in the tiny house. Building on feminist methodological discussions, this analytical framework called for a mixed-method qualitative approach that combined positionality, reflexivity, online media archive, semi-structured interviews, home tours, drawings, photography, and video methods. Archival research was combined with fieldwork conducted on the east coast of New South Wales, Australia. Across the empirical chapters attention turns to augmenting an understanding of the challenges and opportunities that tiny house living poses to water, energy, and food related practices. The analysis offers fresh insights into the complex mediation of resource flows through the tiny house and suggests the need to restrain some of the excitement and hype regarding the potential for tiny houses to address urban sustainability challenges.
Penfold, Hilton, The tiny house: political ecologies of household water, energy and food practices, Doctor of Philosophy thesis, School of Geography and Sustainable Communities, University of Wollongong, 2022. https://ro.uow.edu.au/theses1/1581
Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.