Paths, Projects and Careers of Domestic Practice: Exploring Dynamics of Demand over Biographical Time

  • Mary Greene


Understandings of how and why patterns of domestic energy demand change over biographical time remain poorly understood. The predominant practice-theoretical approach to exploring dynamics has been to explore the biographies of practices themselves with the consequence that there has been little exploration of individuals’ lives. This is despite the importance of individuals’ biographic experience for shaping patterns of performance, reproduction and change over time. This chapter discusses concepts and methods employed in a qualitative study focused on understanding patterns and processes shaping biographic dynamics in key household practices implicated in energy demand, namely food, mobility and laundry practices. Findings reveal that practice careers are strongly shaped by social, institutional and technological change which are implicated in shifting temporal and relational dynamics of domestic practice.



This research received funding from the Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme (2013–2016). The author also wishes to express thanks to all participants who were involved in this research, which was conducted with a sample who participated in the CONSENSUS Project: ‘A cross border household analysis of consumption, environment and sustainability’ (, funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for the Environment (STRIVE) Programme 2007–2013.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary Greene
    • 1
  1. 1.NUI GalwayGalwayIreland

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