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Sustainable Consumption: Key Issues provides a concise introduction to the field of sustainable consumption, outlining the contribution of the key disciplines in this multi-disciplinary area, and detailing the way in which both the problem and the potential for solutions are understood. Divided into three parts, the book begins by introducing the concept of sustainable consumption, outlining the environmental impacts of current consumption trends, and placing these impacts in social context. The central section looks at six contrasting explanations of sustainable consumption in the public domain, detailing the stories that are told about why people act in the way they do. This section also explores the theory and evidence around each of these stories, linking them to a range of disciplines and approaches in the social sciences. The final section takes a broader look at the solutions proposed by sustainable consumption scholars and practitioners, outlining the visions of the future that are put forward to counteract damage to environment and society. Each chapter highlights key authors and real-world examples to encourage students to broaden their understanding of the topic and to think critically about how their daily lives intersect with environmental and ethical issues. Exploring the ways in which critical thinking and an understanding of sustainable consumption can be used in daily life as well as in professional practice, this book is essential reading for students, academics, professionals and policy-makers with an interest in this growing field.
Consumer society is an unquestionably complex social construct. However, after decades of unremitting dominance there are signs emerging that it is starting to falter, both as a coherent and durable system of social organization and as a strategy for societal advancement. Debates concerning how we can transition beyond present energy- and materials-intensive consumer society are beginning to gain greater salience. Social Change and the Coming of Post-Consumer Society aims to develop more complete appreciation of the relevant processes of social change and to identify effective interventions that could enable a transition to supersede consumer society. Bringing together leading interdisciplinary experts on social change, the book identifies and analyzes several ongoing small- and modest-scale social experiments. Possibilities for macro-scale change from the interlinked perspectives of culture, economics, finance, and governance are then explored. These contributions expose the systemic problems that are emblematic of the current condition of consumer society, specifically the unsustainability of prevailing consumption practices and lifestyles and the persistence of inequalities. These observations are summarized and extended in the final chapter of the book. This volume will be of great interest to students and scholars of sustainable consumption, sustainability transitions, environmental sociology, and sustainable development.
Consumption is a core issue for all disciplines studying 'culture and society'. This four-volume set covers such diverse issues as food, environment and housing in terms of society's seemingly insatiable lust for consumption. Volume One: The Shaping of the Field includes classic and recent theoretical essays of lasting significance for the discipline and for the critique of consumer behaviour, by such influential voices such as Jean Baudrillard and Theodor Adorno. Volume Two: Acquisition deals with how people get what they consume. Volume Three: Appropriation draws from anthropology, sociology and cultural studies to expound on the central idea of appropriation, capturing the importance of people 'domesticating' mass-produced and alien products, converting them into items with personal meanings and using and appreciating them for their own purposes. Volume Four: Appreciation unpacks the frameworks of understanding acceptable conduct grounded in moral and social judgments of symbolic value.
What factors are contributing to the continuing growth in consumption of goods and services? At what point do the costs associated with consumerism begin to call our way of life into question? How are the problems of resource depletion, waste and pollution, and environmental impact being addressed? What is to be done about the consequences of our all-consuming way of life? Ever-increasing consumption and a relentless pursuit of growth in output are the twin pillars on which the modern economy and contemporary social life rest. But the consumer way of life is globally unsustainable. We can't all live the consumer dream. This comprehensive, lively and informative book will quickly be recognized as a benchmark in the field. It brings together a huge set of resources for thinking about the development of consumer culture, its defining features, and global consequences. Adept in handling a complex range of classical and contemporary theoretical sources, the book draws on an impressive range of comparative material and provides a variety of contemporary examples to inform and enhance understanding of our consuming way of life. Smart writes with verve and feeling and has produced a stimulating book that enlarges our understanding of consumer culture and provides a timely critical analysis of its consequences. Clear, engaging, and original this book will be essential reading for all those interested in and concerned about our global culture of consumption including researchers and students in sociology, politics, cultural studies, economics, and social geography.
The Reading Augustine series presents short, engaging books offering personal readings of St. Augustine of Hippo's contributions to western philosophical, literary, and religious life. Mark Clavier's On Consumer Culture, Identity, The Church and the Rhetorics of Delight draws on Augustine of Hippo to provide a theological explanation for the success of marketing and consumer culture. Augustine's thought, rooted in rhetorical theory, presents a brilliant understanding of the experiences of damnation and salvation that takes seriously the often hidden psychology of human motivation. Clavier examines how Augustine's keen insight into the power of delight over personal notions of freedom and self-identity can be used to shed light on how the constant lure of promised happiness shapes our identities as consumers. From Augustine's perspective, it is only by addressing the sources of delight within consumerism and by rediscovering the wellsprings of God's delight that we can effectively challenge consumer culture. To an age awash with commercial rhetoric, the fifth-century Bishop of Hippo offers a theological rhetoric that is surprisingly contemporary and insightful.
Globalizing Responsibility: The Political Rationalities of Ethical Consumption presents an innovative reinterpretation of the forces that have shaped the remarkable growth of ethical consumption. * Develops a theoretically informed new approach to shape our understanding of the pragmatic nature of ethical action in consumption processes * Provides empirical research on everyday consumers, social networks, and campaigns * Fills a gap in research on the topic with its distinctive focus on fair trade consumption * Locates ethical consumption within a range of social theoretical debates -on neoliberalism, governmentality, and globalisation * Challenges the moralism of much of the analysis of ethical consumption, which sees it as a retreat from proper citizenly politics and an expression of individualised consumerism
This book provides an analysis of the politics of consumption and how the 'educated consumer' plays a vital role in advancing responsible market practices and consumption. Based on a comprehensive interdisciplinary perspective, it explores the extent, drives and links of boycotting, buycotting, labelling schemes and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in 20 European countries. A central question addressed is whether macro-societal patterns of orientation concerning the roles of the state, companies and citizens can explain individual and cross-national differences in boycotting and buycotting. As the book shows, there is not one type of 'political consumer', but several, and their occurrence is directly connected to national variations of labelling schemes and Corporate Social Responsibility. Consumers need reference points and information on the political backgrounds of purchases, and policy makers must address that need through political measures which fit to the national patterns in views about cooperation and market relationships.
This book boldly unsettles the idea of globalization as a recent phenomenon - and one driven solely by Western interests - by offering a compelling new perspective on global interconnectivity in the nineteenth century. Jeremy Prestholdt examines East African consumers' changing desires for material goods from around the world in an era of sweeping social and economic change. Exploring complex webs of local consumer demands that affected patterns of exchange and production as far away as India and the United States, the book challenges presumptions that Africa's global relationships have always been dictated by outsiders. Full of rich and often-surprising vignettes that outline forgotten trajectories of global trade and consumption, it powerfully demonstrates how contemporary globalization is foreshadowed in deep histories of intersecting and reciprocal relationships across vast distances.
What happens when there is almost unlimited choice? When everything becomes available to everyone? And when the combined value of the millions of items that only sell in small quantities equals or even exceeds the value of a handful of best-sellers? In this ground-breaking book, Chris Anderson shows that the future of business does not lie in hits - the high-volume end of a traditional demand curve - but in what used to be regarded as misses - the endlessly long tail of that same curve. As our world is transformed by the Internet and the near infinite choice it offers consumers, so traditional business models are being overturned and new truths revealed about what consumers want and how they want to get it. Chris Anderson first explored the Long Tail in an article in Wired magazine that has become one of the most influential business essays of our time. Now, in this eagerly anticipated book, he takes a closer look at the new economics of the Internet age, showing where business is going and exploring the huge opportunities that exist: for new producers, new e-tailers, and new tastemakers. He demonstrates how long tail economics apply to industries ranging from the toy business to advertising to kitchen appliances. He sets down the rules for operating in a long tail economy. And he provides a glimpse of a future that's already here.
Venda mas y mejor conociendo a su cliente.
The idea of social capital allows scholars to assess the quality of relationships among people within a particular community and show how that quality affects the ability to achieve shared goals. With evidence collected from sixty-nine villages in India, Krishna investigates what social capital is, how it operates in practice, and what results it can be expected to produce.
Does social capital provide a viable means for advancing economic development, promoting ethnic peace, and strengthening democratic governance? The world is richer than ever before, but more than a fifth of its people are poor and miserable. Civil wars and ethnic strife continue to mar prospects for peace. Democracy is in place in most countries, but large numbers of citizens do not benefit from it. How can development, peace and democracy become more fruitful for the ordinary citizen? This book shows how social capital is a crucial dimension of any solution to these problems.
Providing comparisons to the United States and Britain, this book examines Japan's postwar consumer protection movement. Organized largely by and for housewives and spurred by major cases of price gouging and product contamination, the movement led to the passage of basic consumer protection legislation in 1968. Although much of the story concerns the famous "iron triangle" of big business, national bureaucrats, and conservative party politics, Maclachlan takes a broader perspective. She points to the importance of activity at the local level, the role of minority parties, the limited utility of the courts, and the place of lawyers and academics in providing access to power. These mild social strategies have resulted in a significant amount of consumer protection.
Color is a visible technology that invisibly connects so many puzzling aspects of modern Western consumer societies-research and development, making and selling, predicting fashion trends, and more. Building on Regina Lee Blaszczyk's go-to history of the "color revolution" in the United States, this book explores further transatlantic and multidisciplinary dimensions of the topic. Covering history from the mid nineteenth century into the immediate past, it examines the relationship between color, commerce, and consumer societies in unfamiliar settings and in the company of new kinds of experts. Readers will learn about the early dye industry, the dynamic nomenclature for color, and efforts to standardize, understand, and educate the public about color. Readers will also encounter early food coloring, new consumer goods, technical and business innovations in print and on the silver screen, the interrelationship between gender and color, and color forecasting in the fashion industry.
Examining the increasingly common dilemma experienced by consumers who face an overabundance of choices, Overchoice: Too Much to Choose From, Too Little Time provides a much-needed context for the quandary and offers tools to help cope with it. The book creates an unobstructed overchoice narrative. It examines overchoice as a psychological theme and establishes its sociological foundations. It explores the economic nature of overchoice and its impact on the marketplace. It provides an overview of consumer culture, consumer overload, and the resultant consumer disenchantment. Lastly, it addresses the informational complexity created by overchoice. Developed to help readers recognize that the most plentiful choice is not necessarily the best one, Overchoice shows them how to analyze and make discerning decisions about the abundance that is regularly offered to consumers today. This timely text is well-suited for courses in marketing, consumer behavior, social psychology, and economics.
The chapters in this volume are selected from the best papers presented at the 11th Annual Consumer Culture Theory Conference held in Lille, France in July 2016. The diverse interpretive research and theory represented in this volume provides the reader with intellectually stimulating opportunities to examine the intersections between a variety of topics that represent the cutting edge in consumer research. These studies draw on an array of qualitative methodologies and the substantive topics represent crucial issues for our times.
Evaluating the ways in which we construe consumer choice, this book examines the psychology, methods and realities of the role it plays for today's consumer. Confronted by competing brands and products, services, and e-tailed opportunities that are but a click away, how does the consumer choose among them to achieve the particular array of goods to suit their lifestyle? Consumer researchers often seek to explain consumer choice by attributing it to beliefs, desires, attitudes, and intentions in the absence of any theoretical justification. Perspectives on Consumer Choice is the outcome of a research program that employs cognitive explanations in a responsible and disciplined way to genuinely elucidate consumer choice in social scientific terms. Employing a reasoned approach to understanding consumption, this book builds upon theoretical and empirical research in economic psychology, behavioral economics and philosophy as well as marketing and consumer research.
This volume addresses how we can find happiness and well-being in the material world. It builds on previous works that find that materialism is associated with lowered well-being (materialists are less happy) and that consumerism, in all its profusion, is harmful to environmental well-being. How can we use the money and possessions in our lives in the service of well-being? Apparently not by being materialistic. Can we benefit from the many wonders of the marketplace -- in technology, convenience and aesthetics -- without falling prey to the lures and dangers of excessive material preoccupation? Can we meet our material needs in ways that nourish growth and well-being? The authors of the chapters in this volume are on-going researchers into such questions. Herein you can learn about the hedonic benefits of thrift and of spending on experiences; how possessions can be beneficial; how different types of consumers spend money; cultural variations in conceptions of the "good life;" how we might reconcile environmental and consumer well-being; and how to measure the whole of human, economic, and environmental well-being. Taken all together, this collection finds grounds for compatibility between what's good for the consumer and what's good for the environment. This volume appeals to academics, professionals, students and others interested in materialism and consumer well-being.
Taking an innovative and interdisciplinary approach, Experiential Retailing moves beyond the traditional model of product assortment. It examines the history of retailing and consumption, and how cultural attitudes have changed over time. Different types of shopping experiences are described, and anecdotes and illustrations demonstrate strategies for success. Incisive, sensory, and entertaining, the text provides exciting new concepts for understanding this global phenomenon.
This second edition of the authoritative resource summarizes the state of consumer finance research across disciplines for expert findings on-and strategies for enhancing-consumers' economic health. New and revised chapters offer current research insights into familiar concepts (retirement saving, bankruptcy, marriage and finance) as well as the latest findings in emerging areas, including healthcare costs, online shopping, financial therapy, and the neuroscience behind buyer behavior. The expanded coverage also reviews economic challenges of diverse populations such as ethnic groups, youth, older adults, and entrepreneurs, reflecting the ubiquity of monetary issues and concerns. Underlying all chapters is the increasing importance of financial literacy training and other large-scale interventions in an era of economic transition. Among the topics covered: Consumer financial capability and well-being. Advancing financial literacy education using a framework for evaluation. Financial coaching: defining an emerging field. Consumer finance of low-income families. Financial parenting: promoting financial self-reliance of young consumers. Financial sustainability and personal finance education. Accessibly written for researchers and practitioners, this Second Edition of the Handbook of Consumer Finance Research will interest professionals involved in improving consumers' fiscal competence. It also makes a worthwhile text for graduate and advanced undergraduate courses in economics, family and consumer studies, and related fields.
Exploring the roots of Canadian consumer culture, Purchasing Power uncovers the meanings that Canadians have attached to consumer goods. Focusing on women during the early twentieth century, it reveals that for thousands of Canadians between the 1890s and World War II, consumption was about not only survival, but also civic expression. Offering a new perspective on the temperance, conservation, home economics, feminist, and co-operative movements, this book brings women's consumer interests to the fore. Due to their exclusion from formal politics and paid employment, many Canadian women turned their consumer roles into personal and social opportunities. They sought solutions in the consumer sphere to isolation, upward mobility, personal expression, and family survival. They transformed consumer culture into an arena of political engagement. Yet if Canadian women viewed consumption as a tool of empowerment, so did they wield consumption as a tool of exclusion. As Purchasing Power reveals, Canadian women of privileged race and class status tended to disparage racialized and lower income women's consumer habits. In so doing, they constructed notions of taste that defined who - and who did not - belong in the modern Canadian nation.
In today's digital economy, consumer information is more important than ever. Companies are using this information in innovative ways to provide consumers with new and better products and services. Although many of these companies manage consumer information responsibly, some appear to treat it in an irresponsible or even reckless manner. And while recent announcements of privacy innovations by a range of companies are encouraging, many companies - both online and offline -- do not adequately address consumer privacy interests. This book proposes a normative framework for how companies should protect consumers' privacy.
Picture a familiar scene: long lines of shoppers waiting to check out at the grocery store, carts filled to the brim with the week's food. While many might wonder what is in each cart, Andrew Warnes implores us to consider the symbolism of the cart itself. In his inventive new book, Warnes examines how the everyday shopping cart is connected to a complex web of food production and consumption that has spread from the United States throughout the world. Today, shopping carts represent choice and autonomy for consumers, a recognizable American way of life that has become a global phenomenon. This succinct and and accessible book provides an excellent overview of consumerism and the globalization of American culture.
In Retail and Social Change Steven Miles, presents a cross-disciplinary analysis of the evolution of retail and how in both its material and virtual guises it has come to reframe our relationship with the social world. Retail has become increasingly influential in homogenising the urban experience. And yet in reacting to trends in virtual consumption retailers are also becoming more and more conscious of the need to engage with consumers in more sophisticated ways. Retail and Social Change will interest students and scholars in geography, cultural studies, sociology, marketing and business studies interested in how and why retail pervades both our physical and emotional lives in increasingly unexpected ways. It will provide a lively, comparative and thought-provoking contribution that interrogates the implications of retail change, for what it means to be a citizen of a consumer society in the twenty-first century.
What does consumption in the global south signify, and how are its complexities communicated in media discourses? This book looks at the media representation of consumer culture in Africa, China, Brazil and India through case studies ranging from celebrity selfies, to travel websites, news reports and documentary film.
Food trucks announcing "halal" proliferate in many urban areas but how many non-Muslims know what this means, other than cheap lunch? Here Middle Eastern historians Febe Armanios and Bogac Ergene provide an accessible introduction to halal (permissible) food in the Islamic tradition, exploring what halal food means to Muslims and how its legal and cultural interpretations have changed in different geographies up to the present day. Historically, Muslims used food to define their identities in relation to co-believers and non-Muslims. Food taboos are rooted in the Quran and prophetic customs, as well as writings from various periods and geographical settings. As in Judaism and among certain Christian sects, Islamic food traditions make distinctions between clean and impure, and dietary choices and food preparation reflect how believers think about broader issues. Traditionally, most halal interpretations focused on animal slaughter and the consumption of intoxicants. Muslims today, however, must also contend with an array of manufactured food products-yogurts, chocolates, cheeses, candies, and sodas-filled with unknown additives and fillers. To help consumers navigate the new halal marketplace, certifying agencies, government and non-government bodies, and global businesses vie to meet increased demands for food piety. At the same time, blogs, cookbooks, restaurants, and social media apps have proliferated, while animal rights and eco-conscious activists seek to recover halal's more wholesome and ethical inclinations. Covering practices from the Middle East and North Africa to South Asia, Europe, and North America, this timely book is for anyone curious about the history of halal food and its place in the modern world.
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