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Title: Domesticating environmentalism? : gender, class and everyday practices in the home
Author: Rivlin, Penny Louellen
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis explores the interrelationships between class and gender and the conduct of everyday domestic practices in climate changing times. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, the thesis presents qualitative empirical data generated from the domestic narratives of seventeen respondents living in Yorkshire, England. The male and female respondents are evenly distributed within three cohorts: working-class, middle-class and green-identified. Focusing on everyday domestic life and individual performances of domestic agency - especially in relation to domestic foodwork and waste practices - the thesis analyzes the ways in which the respondents' negotiate the ethics and labour involved in 'greening' the domestic sphere. Additionally, three UK government-sponsored eco-campaigns - Act on C02 (DECC, 2008-2009); Love Food Hate Waste (WRAP, 2007 - present); and War Time Spirit (EST, 2009) - are analyzed in relation to the empirical data as a means of evaluating the efficacy of the state's approach to promoting the mainstreaming of green domestic practice. A central claim of the thesis is that the specificities of classed, gendered locations intimately inform the processes of what I term 'domesticating environmentalism'. The thesis theorizes a range of themes and core concepts that enable or hinder processes of domesticating environmentalism. These include processes of dis-identification, ascetic hedonism, incidental greenness, domestic distancing and eco-domesticity. The thesis identifies the emergence of a 'green shift' of domestic labour that holds the potential to transform as well as harden existing classed and gendered relationships to domestic labour. The green shift readily coordinates with the existing gendered double shift and the gendered division of household labour: it is therefore predisposed to feminization. It is argued that specific performances of the green shift cross-cut socio-culturallocations to both destabilize and reassert the habits of class and gender. In the context of detraditionalization processes, some aspects of the green shift respond to shifting household arrangements and economies, or to desires for capital accrual, rendering them amenable to masculinization. However, as intimately connected to respectability, the green shift has classed, gendered dimensions which presently work to intensify working-class women's experiences of domestic labour - notably in its capacity to traverse private and public spheres.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available