Modern man is an aware being, this largely due to the information that is available everywhere. When awareness grows the demands for products and services also grows. The conscious human knows she cannot change the world by herself, but she wants to do something for a better world, these actions make her feel good. But only a few act upon this awareness, at least to the extent they themselves deem ethically correct. To say that one is aware and to actually act upon this awareness are not the same. This has many different reasons.
Firstly there is a common resignation among people today. Those who carry this resignation claim that one doesn’t have any choice to act ethically anyway, the alternatives are too few. If the alternatives in everyday life are too few the ethical becomes more complicated, and the complicated does not facilitate behavioural changes. The resignation may also stem from the feeling that “it doesn’t matter what I do if no one else cares”.
I have actually quit separating paper from other trash. In the beginning I was so careful, and was upset when my friends threw paper in the regular bins. But now…I don’t know, it sort of passed. I felt that it took so much extra time and really, what difference does it make? You see the pictures of dumps in the third world and you think “ah, screw it”. (Jakob, 24)
2 responses to “sustainable urban lifestyle, part 1”
Check out this fresh ethnographic dissertation:
“(Re)Creating Ecological Action Space” by Karin Skill, 2008
This ethnographic account of “Housholders Activities for Sustainable Development in Sweden” is a rich, thick description of citizens daily negotiation between structure and agency. This negotiation is consisting of an ever-going attempt to conjoin the dominant discourses of sustainable development as they are expressed mainly through the sets of rules, norms and regulations as well as options available to pursue the practices of what is considered to be ‘environmentaly conscious cittizens’ with the actual everyday ‘enactment’ that Swedes undertake in the name of the ecological environment.
Once again, most of those things that matters when it comes to understanding the meaning of being human seem to be bound to pass us by if we don’t engage in extensive and thorrough, close-up inquiring – curiously asking questions and devotingly searching for the answers.
The outcome of current, and ever growing, global environmental crisis is depending on the shape of our ‘ecological action space’. Our ‘ecological action space’ in turn is depending on how well we understand ourselves. Ethnography doesn’t offer explanations but brings us closer to understanding – the understanding that means everything.
Keep the height!
Interesting to know.