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SUSTAINABLE PARTNERSHIPS: An empirical study into matched sustainable behaviour within married and cohabiting opposite sex couples living in the UK

Pettifor, Hazel (2012) SUSTAINABLE PARTNERSHIPS: An empirical study into matched sustainable behaviour within married and cohabiting opposite sex couples living in the UK. Working Paper. Centre for Research in Economic Sociology and Innovation (CRESI) Working Paper 2012-03, Colchester, UK.

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Abstract

This is an exploratory study into the behaviour of people living in the same household. Through it I have two main aims. The first is to discover the extent to which two people living in the same household follow the same sustainable or non-sustainable household behaviours. The second is to try and explain this behaviour by testing three particular theories for correlated behaviour suggested by Manksi (1993). Using Understanding Society, a nationally representative study of households in the UK, I examine the sustainable behaviour of over 7,000 married or cohabiting couples. My findings suggest that couples behave similarly. The first theory for this behaviour is that they face a common set of enablers or constraints to sustainable behaviour and I find this explanation has some value with respect to heating, electricity and water use in the home. The second theory suggests couples support each other’s views making them more or less likely to behave similarly. Here I find that individual probability of either behaving more or less sustainably is increased when couples agree on climate change giving some support to this explanation. The third theory suggests that common sustainable practices in the home are the result of within couple influence. Through a mechanism which I refer to as ideological exchange, I find that where couples are ideologically opposed to each other, for certain behaviours, increased social exchange results in a higher probability of matched behaviour. Interestingly, differences in the effects observed, suggests that the outcome of any interaction is also determined by household responsibilities held.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Couples; shared ideology; sustainable behaviour; green household; enablers and constraints
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Institute for Social and Economic Research
Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of > Centre for Research in Economic Sociology and Innovation
Depositing User: Mark Harvey
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2012 20:42
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2012 20:42
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/4208

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