Instruction

Name Cr Method of study Time Location Organiser
Sustainability in everyday life 5 Cr Lecture Course 27.10.2020 - 1.12.2020
Arkielämän kestävyys 5 Cr Lecture Course 30.10.2019 - 13.12.2019
Sustainability in Everyday Life 5 Cr Lecture Course 29.10.2018 - 10.12.2018

Target group

  • Master’s students in Food Economy and Consumption
  • Master's Programme in Education
  • Master’s students in Environmental Change and Global Sustainability
  • Master's Programme in Human Nutrition and Food-related Behaviour
  • Master’s students in Social Sciences

Prerequisites

BSc or equivalent proficiency in an appropriate subject

Learning outcomes

Students understand and are able to apply practice theory to analyse and improve the conditions for sustainable consumption. They can identify relevant everyday consumption issues that have sustainability implications. They master basic research design, data collection and analysis methods (focus on qualitative and observational methods), research writing skills, as well as groupwork organization skills. They are able to condense and communicate pertinent insights from their small-scale research and identify relevant addressees for their research implications. They have gained personal experience of research communication using social media.

Timing

2nd period, recommended to be completed in 2nd year of Master’s studies

Contents

  • Practice theory: practice-as-performance and practice-as-entity
  • Observational analysis of everyday life practices
  • Policy implications of more and less sustainable everyday practices
  • Succinct communication of research findings

Completion

Course completion: Lectures (10 h) + readings (30 h) + reaction papers (30 h), groupwork assignment (paper, presentation and social media communication) on identification and researching of a selected consumption practice using different methods (interviews, observation), as well as reflection on the reasons for unsustainability and options for improvement (65 h).

Alternative way to complete the course: https://moodle.helsinki.fi/course/view.php?id=26235

Study materials

1) Shove, E., Pantzar, M., & Watson, M. (2012). The dynamics of social practice: Everyday life and how it changes. Sage Publications.

2) Shove, E. (2003). Converging conventions of comfort, cleanliness and convenience. Journal of Consumer policy, 26(4), 395-418.

3) Shove, E., & Pantzar, M. (2007). Recruitment and reproduction: the careers and carriers of digital photography and floorball. Human Affairs, (2), 154-167.

4) Røpke I (2009) Theories of practice — New inspiration for ecological economic studies on consumption. Ecological Economics 68 (10), 2490–2497.

5) Sahakian, M., & Wilhite, H. (2013). Making practice theory practicable: Towards more sustainable forms of consumption. Journal of Consumer Culture, 1469540513505607.

6) Smart, B. (2010). Consumer society: Critical issues & environmental consequences. Sage Publications. (selected chapters, to be announced)

Assessment practices and criteria

Graded on a scale of 0-5. Attendance in class (10%), reaction papers (30%) and group assignment (60%). Detailed criteria available on the course Moodle page.

Relation to other study units

This course is part of three Master’s programs:

  • Environmental Change and Global Sustainability Master’s program, where this course is part of the Consumer citizens and sustainability transitions course package (Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences)
  • Food Economics and Consumption program (Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry).
  • Social Science Master’s program, Sustainable Consumption orientation (opintosuunta), Faculty of Social Science

Additional information

Lectures and readings are in English but students can submit papers in Finnish or Swedish