Towards energy care ethics : exploring ethical implications of relationality within energy systems in transition
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Social science energy research is asking important questions about the social, political, and economic implications of energy transitions, and the consequent changing roles and relationships in the energy system. This has given rise to ethically driven research agendas, with an increasing focus on the need to better understand how people relate in their daily lives, both to mundane dilemmas around energy use, and to bigger questions around energy systems and energy system change. Based on insights from empirical Q-methodological research in Denmark and the UK, this article illustrates relational understandings of energy systems and a language of dependence, necessity and needs as important elements in how people make sense of the energy transition and their place in it. This challenges dominant frameworks and discourses of energy and energy transitions rooted in individualism and a language of individual responsibility, rational choice and/or individual rights and justice. In this article, we argue that a recognition of relationality and (inter)dependence as basic conditions of existence, and as basis for ethical reasoning in everyday engagements with energy in transition, is key to reflecting ways of relating to energy ethicalities in the everyday. This speaks strongly to recent advances of relational theories of energy systems and transitions, but calls for a recognition not only of inter-connections and relations, but of their ethical significance. To this end, we engage a feminist theory of care and care ethics in a proposition to ‘think energy with care’.
Damgaard , C S , McCauley , D & Reid , L 2022 , ' Towards energy care ethics : exploring ethical implications of relationality within energy systems in transition ' , Energy Research and Social Science , vol. 84 , 102356 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2021.102356
Energy Research and Social Science
Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This work has been made available online in accordance with publisher policies or with permission. Permission for further reuse of this content should be sought from the publisher or the rights holder. This is the author created accepted manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2021.102356
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