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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Lisa Howard

Lisa Howard
Lisa Howard
Sociology School of Social and Political Science University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh UK
Research Interests
Environment, Social movements, theories of global justice, Environmental Sociology, Values, environmental politics, Sustainability, Sustainable consumption and production

PhD Title

PhD prov. title: The lived experience of pro-environmental voluntary simplicity within families and personal relationships

In the era of the Anthropocene and the ecological crisis scholars argue that consumption levels in the Global North are unsustainable. Late modernity's individualisation of risk and responsibility has led to some choosing a politically-aware radical lifestyle of reduced personal consumption which reflects their values of environmental stewardship and social justice. These 'voluntary simplifiers' have been the subject of scholarship in recent decades but framed as living an individualised set of practices, overlooking consumption's anchoring and embeddedness within family and personal relationship units. Using qualitative methods and drawing on theories of practice, my PhD research seeks to uncover how voluntary simplicity families and personal relationships negotiate, adopt, sustain and reimagine value-led, low impact lifestyles. In recognition that personal and family lives can provide insight into everyday  routines within wider social structures, the study will contribute knowledge towards effecting social change to living sufficiently and sustainably.


PhD Sociology, University of Edinburgh (ongoing), from 2019 

MSc by Research in Sociology, University of Edinburgh, 2018 - 2019

(supervised by Dr. Rachel Howell and Prof. Lynn Jamieson)

BSc Environmental Management (Hons), 1st Class - Birkbeck, University of London 2014 - 2018


ESRC +3 PhD Studentship, 2019 - 2023

Best Geography/Environmental Dissertation prize, Birkbeck, University of London, 2018

Birkbeck East Prize (Geography), 2015


Book review: Sustainable Consumption Key Issues, Middlemiss 2018. Local Environment


Sustainable Development 2a - course tutor (2019)