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Sociology

Cultural practices, consumption and sustainability

In this research cluster, we focus on sustainable lifestyles and consumption.

For sociologists, 'consumption' doesn't just refer to what you eat and drink: it covers a lot of common things that we choose to do, use and buy, eg listening to music, choosing the clothes we wear, playing computer games. We explore why we make these choices, what they mean, and what effect they have on our lives.

Research in this cluster aims to help answer some of the big environmental and political questions of our time by looking at individual behaviour, and working out how small changes to this behaviour can make a real difference. We do this by looking at how people's ideas about the world, and their patterns of behaviour, are developed and maintained, and then we consider how these might be 'nudged' into more being environmentally-friendly. We share our knowledge with government and policymakers, and with the private sector.

Research centres and groups