Power to the People? Lifestyle politics and public communication in New Zealand electricity grid protests

Geoffrey Craig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


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
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-248
Number of pages18
JournalCultural Politics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


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