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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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Homes, Household Practices, and the Domain(s) of Citizenship

Homes, Household Practices, and the Domain(s) of Citizenship

(p.141) 7 Homes, Household Practices, and the Domain(s) of Citizenship
Engaging the Everyday

John M. Meyer

The MIT Press

Home and household practices have become a normatively appealing foundation for environmentalism in the past couple decades. It is at the root of many calls for environmental justice and has been contrasted to the “trouble with wilderness.” While many regard “home” as an alternative form of environmentalist rhetoric, it is this attention to practices in actual home that now seems ascendant. Yet the question of how to conceptualize household practices is fraught. On the one hand, they have been characterized as generating obligations of citizenship. On the other, they have been criticized as the individualization of responsibility associated with consumerism. This chapter argues that viewing the home and household as a prominent site for social reproduction can help us to better understand both their possibilities and limitations as a basis for social criticism and change. Lessons are drawn from the author’s involvement with a decidedly unconventional “home” – the Campus Center for Appropriate Technology (CCAT) – a decades-long student-run experiment in sustainable living at his university.

Keywords:   home, household practices, social reproduction, citizenship, consumerism, appropriate technology

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