Project

When climate change enters domestic life: Ethnographic study of gender and “green” reproductive labour.

Duration
01 November 2020 → Ongoing
Funding
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • Ecological anthropology
    • Political sociology
    • Social movements and collective action
    • Sociology of gender and gender relations
    • Sociology of family
Keywords
lifestyle politics macro-micro link reproductive labour sustainability Gender civic participation climate change practices domestic load ethical consumption ethnography family France
 
Project description

The urgency and severity of the environmental crisis are leading a growing number of people to adopt eco-friendly practices. However, a trip to the package-free store or tending a vegetable garden requires some adjustments in the household. The goal of this project is to understand how environmental concerns and practices both impact and are mediated by reproductive labour and its gender dynamics in everyday family life. Reproductive labour is understood as the range of activities necessary to sustain life, and it has historically been women’s prerogative. Through an ethnographic study of French families, this study will analyse the economic, temporal and mental load (organisational, educational and emotional) that comes with “green” reproductive labour, and how this load articulates with gendered dimensions of domestic life. This project will inform the individualisation and (de)politicisation of environmental responsibility through an investigation of the gendering of “green” practices and “lifestyle” politics. It will also shed light on the articulation of macro and micro concerns: how the global environmental crisis translates into mundane and gendered practices in the intimacy of family life. While the environmental question is ever more burning, the intersection of gender and sustainability is remarkably under-researched in the global “North.” The present project aims to fill this gap in the literature through a timely and much-needed qualitative approach.