Publication details

The Environmentally Friendly Lifestyle : Simple or Complicated?



Year of publication 2008
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Czech Sociological Review
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Field Sociology, demography
Keywords environmentally friendly lifestyle; voluntary simplicity; nine dimensions of simplicity; self-sufficiency
Description Simplicity is generally considered an important characteristic of the environmentally friendly lifestyle. This article questions this tenet. Nine dimensions of simplicity are proposed: non-ownership, lack of power, aesthetics, behaviour, education, naturalness, freedom of movement, the sedentary life/faithfulness to a place, and living lightly. Using these categories, the question is asked whether the cultural stereotype of simplicity corresponds to reality. The images of the environmentally friendly lifestyles are analysed from an everyday perspective, including radical forms of self-sufficiency. The result is a conclusion contrary to the common belief - with a grain of salt: while the life of the typical consumerist is simple, a life of environmental virtue is complex. This finding directs attention to part of N. Elias' sociological theory, which understands the civilisation process as a replacement of simple behaviour with complex rituals.
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