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Energy embeddedness: how social relationships influence energy usage

Rosenberg, Meital (2017) Energy embeddedness: how social relationships influence energy usage. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Access to reliable energy is considered fundamental to a modern standard of living and rural electrification has become a central goal of development. Prior studies suggest that with increased energy access, women stand to gain particularly due to their connection to energy-intensive work in the home. However, these studies focus only on the extent of access to households and not how family members within the home are using the electricity. This research focuses on the social relationships between family members to better understand electricity usage particularly for women who should, in theory, have the most to gain from modern energy access. In a detailed inductive study of 31 women and additional stakeholders in the State of Gujarat in India, we find that access within a home does not mean equitable usage by all household members. From these findings, we propose a new concept of energy embeddedness, whereby we argue social relationships influence the energy behavior of families. Using this concept, we advance a novel 2x3 framework that distinguishes appliances based on their costs that largely influence access and the social relationships around them that largely influence usage. From this study, we hope to help make rural electrification policies more sensitive to the nuances between usage and access to advance energy policy that truly reaches all.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Rosenberg, Meitalmer110@pit.edumer1100000-0001-5795-3601
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairEl-Hamidi,
Committee MemberHur,
Committee MemberAklin,
Committee MemberArmanios,
Date: 26 April 2017
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 19 April 2017
Approval Date: 26 April 2017
Submission Date: 21 April 2017
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 45
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: David C. Frederick Honors College
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Electricity; Electrification; India; Embeddedness
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2017 15:33
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2017 05:15


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