Department or Program

Environmental Studies


This is an analysis of the tiny home movement related to the philosophies of transcendentalism, ecofeminism, deep ecology, and the critique of wilderness. I argue that tiny homes represent a rejection of an increasingly neoliberal, capitalist, consumerist society in favor of a reunification of culture and nature. The tiny house movement, however, paradoxically reconciles the rejection of dominant society while embracing its practices. Wilderness as refuge from civilization and the belief in and practice of civil disobedience and other legacies of the transcendental movement are reproduced in contemporary tiny house publications and popular media and further appropriated by the movement’s participants. The tiny house movement is also significant to environmental politics. The movement when in isolation is a form of green consumerism unlikely to make substantive social or policy change. The movement should be supplementary to wider political and societal engagement. I argue that only though the (re)-unification of environment and society can one attain the gold standard of the good life, and reinvent their own pursuit of happiness to reflect the “New American Dream.”

Level of Access

Restricted: Campus/Bates Community Only Access

First Advisor

Sonja Pieck

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 pdf file

Community Engagement



Available to Bates community via local IP address or Bates login.