Elizabeth ShoveProfessor Elizabeth Shove

Professor of Sociology
Department of Sociology, Lancaster University
BA Sociology, DPhil, Sociology - University of York

Sociology Department, Room B09, Bowland North, Lancaster University, Lancaster, LA1 4YT, UK
Tel: +44 1524 594610 Fax: +44 1524 594256 E-mail: e.shove@lancaster.ac.uk

I came to Lancaster in 1995 as deputy director of the Centre for the Study of Environmental Change and was director of the Centre for Science Studies for a couple of years before joining the Sociology Department in 2000.My current research interests have to do with the relation between consumption, everyday practice and ordinary technology. This web site includes details of current and previous research projects, books and publications, teaching and PhD students.


I will be co-directing the DEMAND Centre - Dynamics of Energy, Mobility and Demand- with Gordon Walker, which is due to start work in May 2013.
This link takes you to DEMAND's provisional web site.


Research projects

The Dynamics of Social Practice

The Dynamics of Social PracticeThe Dynamics of Social Practice, with Mika Pantzar and Matt Watson, sets out ideas developed during the course of the ESRC transitions in practice fellowship.

Chapter one

Further details

Transitions in practice: climate change and everyday life

logoThis ESRC funded climate change leadership fellowship addresses the need for new ways of framing problems of climate change, consumption and demand.

Transitions in Practice: ESRC Climate Change Leadership Fellowship

Social change climate change working party

Extraordinary Lecture and Accompanying Exhibition 17th January 2011

The choreography of everyday life: towards an integrative theory of practice

Choreography logo

The choreography of everyday life This link will take you to a series of web pages outlining some of the ideas that lie behind the Dynamics of Social Practice.

Sustainable Practices Research Group

Sustainable practices research group logo

The Sustainable Practices Research Group represents a collaboration between the Universities of Manchester Lancaster, Edinburgh, Essex and Leeds. I am on the management team and part of the keeping cool; theoretical development and integration and interaction and engagement projects.

Sustainable Practices Research Group

The Forge

The Forge logo

I am collaborating with Greg Marsden at the Institute for Transport Studies, Leeds helping to organise a research network - the forge - and related summer schools designed to promote collaboration between social science and transport/travel research.

The Forge

Designing and Consuming: objects, practices and processes

""Designing and Consuming: objects, practices and processes, with Matt Watson at Durham University and Jack Ingram at Birmingham Institute of Art and Design. This project was funded by the ESRC’s Cultures of Consumption programme) and resulted in the book, 'The design of everyday life' published by Berg.

Cultures of consumption programme

A description of the project

The Design of Everyday Life - book based on the project

Interactive Agenda Setting in the Social Sciences

IASS logo

Interactive Agenda Setting in the Social Sciences: A programme of six research workshops on non-academic concerns and academic research agendas. This series is funded by the ESRC. The web site includes background papers and reports on interactive agenda setting and: disciplines, centres, interdisciplinarity and research programmes.

Traces of Water

Traces of Water'Traces of Water', with Will Medd, is funded by the UK Water Industry Research Association. This project brings sociological ideas about practice and technology to bear on domestic water consumption.The web site includes details of a programme of research workshops.

Manufacturing Leisure

Manufacturing Leisure‘Manufacturing Leisure’ (2005), NCRC: Helsinki. This electronic book, edited with Mika Pantzar, examines different innovations in fun. Together, the chapters show how consumers and producers are continuously and actively involved in integrating, inventing and reproducing specific combinations of ideologies, materials and forms of competence of which leisure practices are formed.

Future Comforts

""'Future Comforts', with Heather Chappells, examined future expectations of comfort and the indoor environment (funded by the ESRC's Environment and Behaviour Programme.). The future comforts web site includes a selection of papers and a bibliography of social scientific work on thermal comfort.

Comfort in a Low Carbon Society: 2008 Special issue of Building Resesarch and Information, Vol 36, No 4, edited by Elizabeth Shove, Heather Chappells and Loren Lutzenhiser.

Network for Comfort and Energy Use in Buildings An EPSRC-funded network of researchers, consultancies, designers and manufacturers concerned with building-related energy issues and the requirements for human thermal comfort.

Sustainable Domestic Technologies

Sustainable Domestic Technologies'Sustainable Domestic Technologies'with Alan Warde and Dale Southerton at Manchester University, is about the design and use of kitchens and bathrooms and is funded by the ESRC's Sustainable Technologies Programme.

description of the project

kitchens and bathrooms conference and papers

TOP-IX Seminars


Theories of practice: an interdisciplinary exchange: A series of seminars between marketing, geography and sociology

Books and publications

Book cover

Elizabeth Shove, Mika Pantzar and Matt Watson, 2012, The Dynamics of Social Practice, London: Sage.

Book cover

Elizabeth Shove, Frank Trentmann and Rick Wilk (eds) (2009) Time, Consumption and Everyday Life, Oxford, Berg.

Book cover

Elizabeth Shove, 2003, Comfort, Cleanliness and Convenience, Oxford: Berg.

Book cover

Elizabeth Shove, Matt Watson, Martin Hand and Jack Ingram (2007) The Design of Everyday Life Oxford: Berg.

Book cover

Bas van Vliet, Heather Chappells and Elizabeth Shove, 2005, Infrastructures of Consumption, London: Earthscan.

Elizabeth Shove, Heather Chappells and Loren Lutzenhiser (eds) (2009) Comfort in a Lower Carbon Society London, Routledge.

CV and recent publications


I usually teach "Research Projects in Practice: From Design to Dissemination" an MA Module in which students undertake a small-scale research project from start to finish during the course of the term. This course is also available through the Faculty Research Training Programme.

Current PhD Students

Owen Dowsett, co supervised with John Urry. Owen is interested in climate change, repair and cycling.

Martin Green, co supervised with Gordon Walker in LEC. Martin's work looks at seasonal rhythms and sustainability. His studentship relates to the transitions in practice fellowship

Janine Morley, co supervised with Mike Hazas in Computing. Janine is looking at energy consuming practices.

Kakee Scott, co supervised with Daniela Sangiorgi in LICA. Kakee is interested in design and theories of practice.

Damla Tonuk, co supervised with Tim Dant. Damla is interested in material culture and plastic.

Stan Webster, co supervised with Gordon Walker. Stan's work is on routines, time and sustainability. His studentship relates to the transitions in practice fellowship.

Previous projects

Consumption, everyday life and sustainability

Having led a five-year programme of workshops, exchanges and summer schools on Consumption, Everyday Life and Sustainability consumption, everyday life and sustainability" (funded by the European Science Foundation) I took advantage of a Leverhulme research fellowship to focus on the dynamics of 'ordinary' consumption. Comfort, Cleanliness and Convenience: The Social Organization of Normality (2003) Oxford: Berg, makes use of ideas from the sociology of consumption and science and technology studies in looking at the evolution of conventions and practices.

Energy, buildings and the environment

I’ve been responsible for a number of projects that have brought a sociological perspective to bear upon issues relating to the built environment and the construction industry. A Sociology of Energy, Buildings and the Environment (2000), London: Routledge, written with Simon Guy, drew upon much of this work and on research funded through the ESRC's Global Environmental Change Programme.

Innovation, organisation and technology

Projects funded by the ESRC, the EPSRC, and the (then) Department of Environment have examined different aspects of the management and co-ordination of construction. Specific studies have focused on cavity wall insulation, cladding, concrete, organising change in construction, supply chain management, and most recently, standardisation in building services. These projects detail inter-organisational relations and their implications for innovation and technological development.

Infrastructures and systems in transition

Some of my research on the social and technical development of complex systems and networks has been about the management of technological development (SOCROBUST). Other projects (DOMUS) have examined changing relations between the consumers and providers of water and electricity services. Recent work on mobility and social exclusion explores similar issues (CHIME), but with respect to systems and infrastructures of transport. I have served as a 'special advisor' to Transport for London on monitoring the social impact of congestion charging. The common thread here has to do with the intersection of social and technical systems and the dynamics of sociotechnical change.

Research and science policy

I have maintained an interest in research and science policy and especially in the uses of social science. This has taken various forms. Social Environmental Research in the European Union: Research networks and new agendas, (2000) Cheltenham: Elgar, with Michael Redclift, Barend van der Meulen and Sujatha Raman, was the result of an EU funded project examining the "making" of European social environmental research. Other work, including several studies for the ESRC, has focused on the concept of the "user" and on the idea of "interactive" social science.

View on-line papers by author

View on-line papers by topic