The forgetting of everyday living: Exploring displacements in futuring climate change

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In sociology, climate change regularly figures as a concern for the future (e.g., future generations, climate pathways, technological adaptation), especially in European contexts which due to a combination of geographical luck and historical privilege have so far had it relatively mild. Yet in light of recent and increasingly severe droughts, floods, and heatwaves, this temporal framing is – ‘even’ in Europe – in need of review. In this paper, I empirically and theoretically attend to what I call the ‘forgetting of everyday living’ (Cf. Irigaray 1999) that is implicated in the displacement (Cf. Honig 1993) of climate change to the future. Drawing from my phd-research on the politics of breath and climate change and a focus-group based exploratory study on citizen experiences of climate change in Rotterdam conducted in 2021-2022, I show that differentiated embodied knowledges of, and locally situated ways of living in, climate change are rendered unscientific, irrelevant, or invisible by dis-placing climate change from the realm of everyday living (Weston 2015; Hine 2023; Van Oorschot & van Balen 2023). To that end, I identify three sites of forgetting and their intersecting political implications: the (i) discursive registers of and (ii) privileged subject-position(s) implicit in climate change as a concern for the future, and the (iii) epistemological doubts regarding experiential and embodied knowledges of climate change. Encouraging, in conclusion, to foster a sociological attention to lived, differentiated, and stratified ways of everyday living in climate change, I end with a reflection on the precarity involved in opening up these ‘places’ to scientific interests, and the importance of rethinking social research rationales (Tuck & Yang 2018).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2023
EventDag van de Sociologie - Campus UFO, Technicum, Department of Sociology, Gent, Belgium
Duration: 25 May 202325 May 2023


ConferenceDag van de Sociologie
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