Sociology > Social Diversity and Inclusion

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The uptake of homeowner energy retrofits and related policy instruments are lagging behind targets. The Finnish government has decided on the phasing out of oil heating by 2035, but despite financial and other support for homeowners, only 14 per cent of homeowners with oil heating reported planning to switch their heating systems. Homeowner decision-making on energy investments is typically seen as an outcome of rational evaluation based on calculations about costs, payback times, and savings in energy and money. However, informal, experience-based knowledge contributes centrally to situations where people end up keeping their current heating system, yet there is little research on practical knowledge when households consider energy investments. This article presents findings from interviews with Finnish homeowners (N=29) living in detached houses with oil heating systems and argues that homeowners’ embodied heating habits and practical knowledge are important in understanding homeowner willingness to keep existing heating systems. In the in-depth interviews conducted in spring 2022, homeowners discussed their energy use practices, past renovations and future renovation needs, as well as concerns related to switching oil heating to a low carbon heating system. The findings suggest that homeowners’ practical knowledge on heating with their existing system and the lack of such knowledge in relation to alternative heating systems may be one reason why homeowners are reluctant to switch their heating systems. The study contributes to a growing body of research which highlights the relevance of everyday practices in homeowner energy renovations.

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Societies employ mechanisms to pass on their knowledge through generations. The intergenerational transmission of social memory has become a relatively recent field, gaining increased interest over the past four decades. This article provides a narrative review of the literature on this topic. Findings reveal that memory transmission is influenced by factors that either facilitate or hinder discussions about the past within the family environment. These factors include silence, emotion, the contingency of daily communication and social-level memory characteristics. While official memory often prevails over family memory, the richness of family narratives lies in their ability to offer unique perspectives that may contradict official accounts. The study concludes that family memories may be at a higher risk of fading into social silence and oblivion. Intergenerational memory thrives when there is a plurality of memories within the broader society, emphasising the importance of diverse perspectives in preserving collective memory.

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David and Freya Flatman have four daughters – 14, 11 and 2 years old and a 6-month-old baby – and live in the UK. Their older two daughters are from David’s first marriage and the younger two are from his marriage to Freya. For part of the week, the two older girls live with David and Freya and their younger sisters. In the interview, David reflects on how his older daughters use tech, with contributions from Freya and prompted by questions from the interviewer.

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Cultural hierarchies enable an understanding of how consumption takes part in the reproduction of social inequalities in current societies. The changing nature of these hierarchies reveals a tension between established and emerging forms of cultural capital. This article explores this tension in the context of an understudied European cultural semi-periphery country. It focuses on young university students in a social milieu where new trends, established legitimate culture and cosmopolitan cultural flows intersect. The article uses a mixed-method approach and analyses cultural space both through survey data and follow-up in-depth interviews. Detailed exploration of cultural repertoires shows that while survey analysis shows both established and emerging forms of legitimate culture, there is widespread deference among the students towards the former. While cultural goods associated with emerging cultural capital are widely consumed, they are not related to repertoires of legitimisation. This points to the continuing importance of national institutions and their pedagogical practices in delineating what is understood as legitimate culture.

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Changes in personal consumption play an important role in the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to stay within the 1.5-degree warming carbon footprint budget. Affluent countries have high carbon footprints from a consumptive perspective and therefore have a high potential to reduce emissions from personal consumption. To study this potential, we look at the consumption-based carbon footprints of respondents from a carbon footprint calculator survey from the Nordic countries to compare the carbon footprints of those who participated in selected low-carbon consumption options to those that did not. The total sample size of the survey is 8,000 households. We analysed seven low-carbon consumption options within the domains of diet, transportation and housing energy. An input-output based hybrid assessment model was used to calculate the consumption-based carbon footprints. In addition to analysing these options separately, we also analysed them in combination. The lowest carbon footprints were associated with those respondents who did not own a car or had a vegan or vegetarian diet, and the largest difference in emissions was associated with not flying and not owning a car. Rebound effects for the consumption options were largely limited and were mostly not significant. Participation rates in the low-carbon consumption options were generally low. These results underscore the need for higher rates of adopting multiple low-carbon consumption options and can inform policy on which consumption options could be the most impactful.

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There has been a growing interest in the connection between consumption and health, particularly in relation to consumerism in healthcare services and consumption’s impact on population health. Initially the idea of the ‘healthcare consumer’ was met with extreme scepticism, as it was argued that this idea was a misnomer and that the concept was threatening to fragment healthcare. Yet more recent empirical work into consumption practices and health has shown that the relationship is much more nuanced than previously thought. This article takes the case of daily care for oral devices and seeks to further unpack the relationship between consumption and health. The results are based on analysis of data collected in 2019 from the Philippines and Russia. The analysis focuses on how adjustments are made to the relationships between the body, consciousness and everyday life when living with oral devices (dentures, aligners and mouthguards). It examines the daily practices associated with care for such devices, examining the spaces, materials and practices involved in daily oral care. The findings demonstrate that in Russia and the Philippines several ‘bundles’ of consumption practices exist, reflecting quite different teleoaffective structures for consumption practices. The study also uncovers the ‘distributed agency’ of oral devices examining how they shape daily life.

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Everyday lives are made of many practices, often more intricately intertwined than recognised. Fundamental practices, like how we eat, move around and live, have profound impacts on the climate and adaptability towards sustainable societies. While the impacts of these practices in isolation may be well understood, the interrelatedness of how these practices foster, constrain or change one another has been scarcely examined. In response, this paper serves a dual purpose. First, to empirically demonstrate a relationship between food-, mobility- and housing-related consumption. It does this by investigating shared practices among young adults living in Denmark. Findings reveal that home location plays a significant role in prefiguring mobility- and food-related practices. Mobility-related practices, like the daily route or mobility mode, adapt to the home’s location, while grocery shopping is conveniently integrated into daily commuting routes. Hence, this study offers empirical evidence of how certain practices not only influence but often prefigure other practices within the context of everyday life. The second purpose of this paper is to reflect on the climate-related consequences of these interdependent practices. The location of the home creates a locked-in situation for various daily practices, such as commuting and grocery shopping, influencing the degree of climate-friendly consumption. For instance, longer commutes resulting from housing relocation may lead to increased greenhouse gas emissions, or the availability of climate-friendly food products is contingent on the grocery stores near the home’s location. This empirical knowledge highlights how policies targeting food, mobility or housing can have far-reaching effects in multiple consumption domains.

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With the study of law’s relationship with racial justice in mind, this chapter draws on theories of antiracism and progressive lawyering to set out four principles for antiracist lawyering: reflection, creativity, collaboration, and accountability. It argues that lawyers who wish to promote racial justice should engage in reflection, should adopt creative approaches to lawyering, should collaborate, and should remain accountable to their clients.

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