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Engaging the EverydayEnvironmental Social Criticism and the Resonance Dilemma$
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John M. Meyer

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262028905

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262028905.001.0001

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Private Practices yet Political

Private Practices yet Political

(p.75) 4 Private Practices yet Political
Engaging the Everyday

John M. Meyer

The MIT Press

Everyday material practices of land use, transportation, household activity, and consumption are paradigmatically regarded as “private” in western societies. Yet each has enormous “public” consequences. Thinking with and against Hannah Arendt’s account of the public/private divide provides insight into the challenges it poses for environmental action. Influenced by feminist theory and developing a strain of pragmatism traced through both John Dewey and Karl Polanyi, this chapter advances a claim that material practices with substantial environmental effects must be understood as simultaneously private yet political.

Keywords:   public/private, Hannah Arendt, feminist theory, pragmatism, John Dewey, Karl Polanyi

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