Dispersed Practices and Cultural Models: Implications For More Sustainable Electricity Consumption

Eric Arnould, University of Wyoming, USA
Melea Press, University of Wyoming, USA
Our research aims to cast light on strategies of intervention to induce more sustainable household electrical energy consumption. Based upon the limited research so far conducted on energy consumption, our argument is that classic approaches to mass behavioral change, such as pricing and public information linked to social marketing, are not likely ever to be effective in inducing more sustainable consumption. The reason is that electrical energy consumption is embedded in taken-for-granted “dispersed” behavioral practices. We argue approaches to behavioral change based on a grasp of macro level social forces, midrange cultural models, and dispersed practices are more likely to provide actionable insights. Our findings about energy consumption are based on ongoing research conducted in energy markets in the Rocky Mountain west in collaboration with electric energy providers.
[ to cite ]:
Eric Arnould and Melea Press (2010) ,"Dispersed Practices and Cultural Models: Implications For More Sustainable Electricity Consumption", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 32-35 .