Form Submission: Participation Entry

Culture is an understudied phenomenon in energy research, but it is essential for understanding how people consume energy and how they react to policies directed at transforming the energy matrix. Drawing on ethnographic observations and semi-structured interviews conducted in Southern Shan State (Myanmar), and informed by anthropological and related literature, I identify three questions for improving our understanding of the role of culture in two important phenomena that are frequent in the area: cooking with solid fuels and decentralized renewable generation. These are: 1) what are the meanings ascribed to consumption? 2) what are the ideas of how devices should be and should be used? and 3) how are labor and energy experienced through the body? After elaborating on these questions, I demonstrate the form they have taken in the studied location and what are their implications for the energy matrix of the area.