This article explores the increasing politicization of “lifestyles” and outlines an understanding of the concept of “lifestyle politics.” This is conducted through a case-study discussion of protest actions against the upgrading of the electricity grid on the north island of New Zealand. The article also evaluates the exercise of the lifestyle politics of the protesters through a discussion of their use of the public communication process regarding the grid upgrade proposal and their mobilization of public opinion. Lifestyle politics is located in the contexts of theories of “life politics” (Giddens 1991) and “individualization” (Beck and Beck-Gernsheim 2002). The article argues that the concept of lifestyle extends beyond the pursuit of leisure and consumption practices and that lifestyle politics involves the expression of individual rights, the management of risk in everyday life, and a consciousness about the social responsibilities associated with a given lifestyle.
Power to the People?: Lifestyle Politics and Public Communication in New Zealand Electricity Grid Protests
DR GEOFFREY CRAIG IS A SENIOR LECTURER IN THE DEPARTMENT OF POLITICS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF OTAGO. HE IS THE AUTHOR OF THE MEDIA, POLITICS AND PUBLIC LIFE (ALLEN & UNWIN 2004) AND CO-AUTHOR OF SLOW LIVING (BERG AND UNSW PRESS 2006).
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Geofrey Craig; Power to the People?: Lifestyle Politics and Public Communication in New Zealand Electricity Grid Protests. Cultural Politics 1 July 2007; 3 (2): 231–248. doi: https://doi.org/10.2752/174321907X194048
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