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Explaining showering: a discussion of the material, conventional, and temporal dimensions of practice.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date30/06/2005
JournalSociological Research Online
Journal number2
Volume10
Number of pages22
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This article considers the increasing popularity of showering in the UK. We use this case as a means of exploring some of the dimensions and dynamics of everyday practice. Drawing upon a range of documentary evidence, we begin by sketching three possible explanations for the current constitution of showering as a private, increasingly resource-intensive routine. We begin by reviewing the changing infrastructural, technological, rhetorical and moral positioning of showering. We then consider how the multiple and contingent constituents of showering are arranged and re-arranged in and through the practice itself. In taking this approach, we address a number of more abstract questions about the relation between practices, technologies and infrastructures and about what these relationships mean for the fixity and fluidity of ordinary routines and for associated patterns of consumption. The result is a method that allows us to analyse the ways in which material cultures and conventions are reproduced and transformed. This has practical implications for those seeking to contain the environmental consequences of resource-intensive practices.