Identifying and explaining framing strategies of low carbon lifestyle movement organisations
Global Environmental Change
Open Access funded by Economic and Social Research Council. Under a Creative Commons license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Over the last decade we have seen the growth and development of low carbon lifestyle movement organisations, which seek to encourage members of the public to reduce their personal energy use and carbon emissions. As a first step to assess the transformational potential of such organisations, this paper examines the ways in which they frame their activities. This reveals an important challenge they face: in addressing the broader public, do they promote 'transformative' behaviours or do they limit themselves to encouraging 'easy changes' to maintain their appeal? We find evidence that many organisations within this movement avoid 'transformative' frames. The main reasons for this are organisers' perceptions that transformational frames lack resonance with broader audiences, as well as wider cultural contexts that caution against behavioural intervention. The analysis draws on interviews with key actors in the low carbon lifestyle movement and combines insights from the literatures on collective action framing and lifestyle movements.
This research was supported by grant RES-628-25-0059 for the project “Community-based initiatives for energy saving” which is part of the RCUK Energy and Communities Programme and ESRC grant RES-595-28-0001 which funded the project “The Third Sector and the Environment” within the Third Sector Research Centre at the University of Southampton. We would like to thank Rebecca Edwards for collecting interview data on the “third sector” project, as well as our colleagues on the Energy and Communities project for their role in the wider project design, including Patrick James, Tom Rushby and Nicholas Woodman. We are also very grateful to our research participants without whom this research would not have been possible. All remaining weaknesses remain our responsibility.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Elsevier via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 35, pp. 307 - 315