In the context of a post-humanist turn in social sciences that proposes to de-centre the human subject in order to emphasize the flat ontologies of networks, affect, and practices, the concept of human agency gets lost, or becomes easily dismissible.
This paper argues that the social sciences of sustainability might be the field that currently needs the most to rethink and reintroduce human agency as part of their analytical vocabulary. This reconsideration would not give priority to humans in relation to non-human beings. On the contrary, the reasons why it is necessary to re-conceptualise human agency in the social sciences of sustainability are in order to account for notions of human responsibility, as well as for the increasing importance of environmental activism in producing social change.
In this paper I will focus on everydayness and ethical practice, looking at the ways in which everyday actions and considerations of sustainability articulate specific forms of human agency.
I will discuss findings that emerged from my research as part of a wider interdisciplinary project that looked at domestic energy consumption of UK families with the aim of finding ways for reducing energy demand.
This media entry was a contribution to the special session „Everyday sustainability: human agency and ethical practice“ at the 5th International Degrowth Conference in Budapest in 2016.