New publication

The Practice of Eating presents a sociological analysis of food consumption. Using examples of the routine and conventional ways in which foodstuffs, meals, and tastes are woven together in socially acceptable ways, Alan Warde proposes new concepts and new understandings, inspired by recent developments in theories or practice, to capture the essence of the mundane yet complex activity of eating.

Sustainable Consumption Institute

Consumption is a hugely powerful force.

The sustainability challenges we face stem largely from an explosion in consumption, and the corresponding exploitation of finite resources. To successfully respond to these challenges, we must now radically reduce the resource intensity of everyday lives.

This may mean consuming less, or it could mean consuming differently. Either approach requires big leaps in our understanding and our actions – not simply how we produce and distribute goods and services, but how we organise our societies, government policy, and our lives.
Our mission at the Sustainable Consumption Institute is to bring insight and clarity to a key part of the sustainability challenge: the role of consumption.

We take original insights from the Social Sciences, insights that often challenge orthodox thinking, and subject them to critical empirical scrutiny. This, we believe, is essential for advancing fundamental understandings about processes of consumption and social change.
Our approach to research is one that develops novel methodologies for addressing key research questions, including the use of a wide range of data and comparative methodologies that recognise sustainable consumption is an international challenge.

Through an ambitious research programme we tackle head-on the scale and urgency of societal responses required to address sustainability – responses that require collaboration between a wide-range of stakeholders, including businesses and policy-makers, who can both benefit from and contribute to our research.

Welcome to the SCI.

    - Professor Dale Southerton, Director SCI

Our research

Understanding consumer choices, habits and routines and how they can become more sustainable

Accelerating sustainable innovation in products, services and systems

Exploring alternative framings of sustainable consumption and the politics underpinning them

Developing novel methodologies to advance the evidence base on sustainable consumption

SCI Newsletter

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30 November 2016

Renewables in South Australia: Blame Games and Framing Battles

In his latest blog post, Marc Hudson examines the ‘framing battles’ taking place over renewables in Australia. Read it here.

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18 November 2016

The Future of Consumer Society - Maurie J. Cohen

The Future of Consumer Society out now!

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26 October 2016

Alternative hedonism, the good life, and disenchantment with consumerism

Ulrike Ehgartner reports on Professor Kate Soper’s SCI Seminar Series presentation, 'The interaction of policy and experience: an “alternative hedonist” optic'

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  • ManchesterSCI
    RT @MCRSociology: New article: Eating together & eating alone: meal arrangements in British households | Yates & Warde 4 days 1 hour ago
  • ManchesterSCI
    Marc Hudson (@marcsrhudson) examines the framing battles taking place over renewables in Australia 4 days 3 hours ago
  • ManchesterSCI
    The SCI’s Frank Geels and Ben Sovacool further develop thinking in transitions within the energy sector at 1 week 5 days ago