Sustainability and social inequalities
Researching how intersecting axes of inequality shape everyday provisioning
Academic research tends to give insufficient attention to how social differences and inequalities shape the relations and practices of everyday consumption.
Our researchers are working to develop novel approaches to understanding how intersecting axes of inequality, along the lines of gender, race, culture, class, age and dis/ability, shape provisioning in households and communities, both locally and globally, and how they enable or constrain efforts to be environmentally sustainable.
This working group was established to provide a space for researchers to explore common interests in feminist theoretical perspectives on sustainability, environmental justice, and how an intersectionality approach can help us think more inclusively about processes of socio-environmental change.
We aim to develop research collaborations that advance theoretical knowledge about how social inequalities produce environmental problems and vice versa. Our work pursues empirical questions about how interconnected and enduring social inequalities are connected to problems of unsustainability and how strategies for addressing these problems might work together.
- Talking rubbish in Moss Side
- The cultural politics of household sustainability in Manchester
- Building bridges
Public engagement event
- Feeding back findings of household sustainability research with Somali immigrants (coming soon)
Selected publications and activities
- SCI Blog: Planet 50:50? Linking labour and environment this International Women’s Day by Sherilyn MacGregor (March 2016)
- Sherilyn MacGregor is editor of The Routledge Handbook of Gender and Environment (2017) a widely-celebrated collection of chapters by top academics in this interdisciplinary field.
- Sherilyn MacGregor is co-editor of Men and Nature: Hegemonic Masculinity and Environmental Change (Autumn 2017)
- Helen Holmes and Sarah Marie Hall are co-editors of a special issue of The Journal of Consumer Ethics on gender and ethical consumption (vol 1, issue 2, 2017)
- Sherilyn MacGregor and Lesley Head discuss ‘environmental justice, materiality and gender’ in a Keynote Conversation at the Environmental Justice: Looking Back, Looking Forward conference, Sydney Environment Institute, November 2017.
- Blog: Environmental feminists taking up space at Conference of Parties (COP) by Joanna Wilson (January 2018)
- Catherine Walker and co-authors present cross-national research into how ‘environment’ is understood and negotiated within families in the book Environment in the Lives of Children and Families: Perspectives from India and the UK(2017).
- Catherine Walker, Tally Katz-Gerro and Sherilyn MacGregor convened the Interdisciplinary SCI workshop: 'Household sustainability and social inequalities' in May 2018.
- Victims, villains or saviours? Catherine Walker discusses competing and sometimes conflicting ways imaginaries of children in climate change discourse in Discover Society (February 2019).
- Tally Katz-Gerro, Sherilyn MacGregor and Catherine Walker will present findings from their 2018 research into The Cultural Politics of Household Sustainability at the following conferences: British Sociological Association Annual Conference 2019 (Environment and Society stream); Nordic Geographers’ Meeting 2019 (Environment, migration and ethnicity stream); Royal Geographical Society Annual Conference 2019 (Climate Change stream).
Our four research themes explore how we can achieve less resource-intensive ways of life.
We have an ambitious research programme for addressing key issues in sustainability.