Everyday domestic water and energy consumption in Shanghai homes: The resurgence and persistence of gendered practices in China

Larrington-Spencer, H., Browne, A. and Petrova, S. 2024. Everyday domestic water and energy consumption in Shanghai homes: The resurgence and persistence of gendered practices in China. Energy Research and Social Science. 107 103361. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2023.103361

TitleEveryday domestic water and energy consumption in Shanghai homes: The resurgence and persistence of gendered practices in China
TypeJournal article
AuthorsLarrington-Spencer, H., Browne, A. and Petrova, S.
Abstract

China's ecological civilization centralises households as a unit of intervention for environmental policy. The household constructed within such policy reduces complex social arrangements and processes and results in efficiency and behaviour change interventions. Such interventions have had limited success and contribute to reproducing inequality. This paper uses ethnographic methods to develop insights into everyday practices that consume energy and water within homes in urban China. In doing so, understandings of both the responsibilities and temporalities of labour for these practices are developed, and the entanglement of these practices across diverse policy arenas is explored. Focusing upon water treatment, cooking, dishwashing, and laundering - this paper demonstrates not only how women have a much greater responsibility for such practices, but that the importance of women's labour is considered greater for practices in which hygiene is considered critical and contributing to health protection. Gendered labour is connected to the resurgence of Confucian gender ideologies within CCP policy and discourse post-1968. The exacerbation of anxieties around the health of children is further connected with parents experiencing pressure in raising their children as ‘high-quality citizens’.

Keywordswater
energy
consumption
non-resource policy
gendered labour
China
Article number103361
JournalEnergy Research and Social Science
Journal citation107
ISSN2214-6326
Year2024
PublisherElsevier
Publisher's version
License
CC BY 4.0
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2023.103361
Publication dates
Published online11 Dec 2023
Published in printJan 2024

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