Strolling to the beat of another drum : living the 'Slow Life'
As the pace of life in contemporary Western society accelerates, an increasing number of people are engaging in an alternative lifestyle: ‘Slow Living’. Although popular in the media, Slow Living, which addresses issues of quality of life, is a relatively new area of academic enquiry. Given a lack of empirical research, especially on the realities of the Slow Life in a New Zealand context, this ethnographic study aims to augment the knowledge on this lifestyle by focusing on how families experience Slow Living. The key research question is: How do families live their interpretations of a Slow Life? To answer this question, this study examined the everyday lives of five Slow Living families in Canterbury, New Zealand. Adult family members were given a time-use diary to complete over two days. These diaries were then used as a foundation for in-depth interviews and participant observation. Slow Living families hold to a number of personal values, such as personal agency, conscious living and leading meaningful lives. These comprise their ideal way of living. The families are also faced with a number of challenges and have to employ strategies to balance their ideal and what is possible. The different ways families adapt produces a variety of Slow Living lifestyles.... [Show full abstract]