Who does the work in sustainable households? A time and gender analysis in New South Wales, Australia

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Households in the affluentWest have become an important target of government andNGO

    campaigns to encourage more environmentally sustainable behaviours, but there has been

    little research into the gender implications of such policies. This article investigates the

    role of gender and time in the sustainability practices of six heterosexual households

    with young children, committed participants in the Sustainable Illawarra Super Challenge

    programme in 2009. Women spent more total time on sustainable practices, and did so

    more often.Men’s contributions relatedmostly to gardening and transport, in longer blocks

    of time. In these households, sustainability became a highly gendered practice because

    of the different roles in homemaking. Women resisted constructions of themselves as

    being closer to nature, and shouldered expectations of sustainability as part of their roles as

    mothers and household managers. They experienced time as overlapping and fragmented,

    with no distinction between work and leisure. Men contributed to sustainable practices

    mainly through activities understood as leisure, in longer blocks of time. Our temporality

    lens also illustrates the gendered ways that old practices become deroutinised and

    new practices reroutinised. While men were often responsible for the labour and upfront

    time required to start or research a project, the responsibility of everyday implementation

    and habit-changing commonly fell to women. These findings illustrate how gendered

    analyses help identify both opportunities for, and constraints against, change towards

    sustainability. Opportunities include the strong connections between both mothers’ and

    fathers’ understanding of good parenting and the importance they attach to household

    sustainability. Constraints include the temporal challenges faced by households, and how

    these interact with wider structural and labour roles..

Publication Date


  • 2013

Citation


  • Organo, V., Head, L. & Waitt, G. (2013). Who does the work in sustainable households? A time and gender analysis in New South Wales, Australia. Gender, Place and Culture: a journal of feminist geography, 20 (5), 559-577.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84883396033

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/1187

Number Of Pages


  • 18

Start Page


  • 559

End Page


  • 577

Volume


  • 20

Issue


  • 5

Abstract


  • Households in the affluentWest have become an important target of government andNGO

    campaigns to encourage more environmentally sustainable behaviours, but there has been

    little research into the gender implications of such policies. This article investigates the

    role of gender and time in the sustainability practices of six heterosexual households

    with young children, committed participants in the Sustainable Illawarra Super Challenge

    programme in 2009. Women spent more total time on sustainable practices, and did so

    more often.Men’s contributions relatedmostly to gardening and transport, in longer blocks

    of time. In these households, sustainability became a highly gendered practice because

    of the different roles in homemaking. Women resisted constructions of themselves as

    being closer to nature, and shouldered expectations of sustainability as part of their roles as

    mothers and household managers. They experienced time as overlapping and fragmented,

    with no distinction between work and leisure. Men contributed to sustainable practices

    mainly through activities understood as leisure, in longer blocks of time. Our temporality

    lens also illustrates the gendered ways that old practices become deroutinised and

    new practices reroutinised. While men were often responsible for the labour and upfront

    time required to start or research a project, the responsibility of everyday implementation

    and habit-changing commonly fell to women. These findings illustrate how gendered

    analyses help identify both opportunities for, and constraints against, change towards

    sustainability. Opportunities include the strong connections between both mothers’ and

    fathers’ understanding of good parenting and the importance they attach to household

    sustainability. Constraints include the temporal challenges faced by households, and how

    these interact with wider structural and labour roles..

Publication Date


  • 2013

Citation


  • Organo, V., Head, L. & Waitt, G. (2013). Who does the work in sustainable households? A time and gender analysis in New South Wales, Australia. Gender, Place and Culture: a journal of feminist geography, 20 (5), 559-577.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84883396033

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/1187

Number Of Pages


  • 18

Start Page


  • 559

End Page


  • 577

Volume


  • 20

Issue


  • 5