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Societies in transition

BSA Annual Conference: Societies in Transition: Progression or Regression?
SLRG Research fellows Kate Burningham and Andy Stirling to lead Climate Change study group plenary session at the British Sociological Association’s annual conference: conceptualising transitions and transformation
Climate Change Study Group Plenary session: conceptualising  transitions and transformation
Kate Burningham (Surrey), Elizabeth Shove (Lancaster) and Andy Stirling (Sussex)
Various forms of transition and transformation will be required to move towards a lower carbon society.  This panel session, organised by the BSA climate change study group, takes stock of relevant sociological concepts of stability and change at different scales: across an individual’s life course, in terms of the social practices of which daily lives are made, and in the political and scientific processes through which responses to climate change are defined and organised. Each speaker will introduce a handful of key ideas and the purpose of the session is to bring different social theoretical traditions and perspectives to bear on matters of climate change and transition.
Kate will start with a discussion of transitions and life events like having a first baby or retiring, -  and related changes in household economy, leisure practices and social networks.  How are these transitions experienced, and do they represent moments of change that matter for sustainability? Elizabeth will consider methods of conceptualising transitions in social practices, and in complexes of practices that matter for CO2 emissions and energy demand.  Changing ‘scale’ again, Andy will finish with some thoughts on change (and stability) in the technocratic, control oriented focus of much environmental policy and the potential for alternative forms of ‘bottom up’ transformation.
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