Title

Networked Ecological Citizenship, The New Middle Classes and the Provisioning of Sustainable Waste Management in Bangalore, India

SMC Author

Manisha Anantharaman

Status

Faculty

School

School of Liberal Arts

Department

Justice, Community, and Leadership

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2014

Publication Title

Journal of Cleaner Production

Description/Abstract

Globalization and economic liberalization are enabling individuals in emerging economies like India to access lifestyles similar to the resource-intense West. This spread of consumerism poses substantial ecological challenges, and calls for studies that investigate the environmental values, ethics, and politics of India's new consumers. In this paper, I explore emerging pro-environmental behaviors in the city of Bangalore, India, among the new middle classes- its most significant consumer class. Using the case of home waste management, I show how household behavior change is made possible by neighborhood-based coordination, involving multiple actors such as environmentally-conscious residents, domestic help, and hired waste workers. Drawing on ecological citizenship theory, I discuss how waste management through recycling and composting is being implemented in Bangalore through networks of socio-economically privileged new middle class individuals. Their privileged social, political, and economic positions enable them to collectively enact changes in their cultural and structural contexts to facilitate pro-environmental initiatives. At the same time, the role of other actors like domestic servants and waste workers is also critical to the process. I show how ecological citizenship theory can be used to analyze and highlight voluntary involvement by socio-economically privileged individuals but fails to recognize the contributions of actors, who through their livelihood practices, play a pivotal role in producing the systems that enable pro-environmental behaviors among the elite. I conclude by suggesting that a critical analysis of the processes and political arrangements that produce pro-environmental behaviors is vital to sustainable consumption and production research in emerging economies like India.

Keywords

Behavior change, Ecological citizenship, India, Recycling, Urban sustainability

Lasallian research

yes

Scholarly

yes

Peer Reviewed

1

DOI

10.1016/j.jclepro.2013.08.041

Volume

63

First Page

173

Last Page

183

Disciplines

Arts and Humanities | Civic and Community Engagement | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Inequality and Stratification

Original Citation

Anantharaman, M. (2014) Networked ecological citizenship, the new middle classes and the provisioning of sustainable waste management in Bangalore, India. Journal of Cleaner Production. 63: 173-183. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2013.08.041

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