Off the Grid: Re-assembling Domestic Life

Author: 
Jonathan Taggart
Author: 
Phillip Vannini

Off-grid isn’t a state of mind. It isn’t about someone being out of touch, about a place that is hard to get to, or about a weekend spent offline. Off-grid is the property of a building (generally a home but sometimes even a whole town) that is disconnected from the electricity and the natural gas grid. To live off-grid, therefore, means having to radically re-invent domestic life as we know it, and this is what this book is about: individuals and families who have chosen to live in that dramatically innovative, but also quite old, way of life. This ethnography explores the day-to-day lives of people in each of Canada’s provinces and territories living off the grid. Vannini and Taggart demonstrate how a variety of people, all with different environmental constraints, live away from contemporary civilization. The authors also raise important questions about our social future and whether off-grid living creates an environmentally and culturally sustainable lifestyle practice. These homes are experimental labs for our collective future, an intimate look into unusual contemporary domestic lives, and a call to the rest of us leading ordinary lives to examine what we take for granted. This book is ideal for courses on the environment and sustainability as well as introduction to sociology and introduction to cultural anthropology courses.