Confronting Consumption

ISBN 13: 9780262162081

Confronting Consumption

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9780262162081: Confronting Consumption
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Comforting terms such as "sustainable development" and "green production" frame environmental debate by stressing technology (not green enough), economic growth (not enough in the right places), and population (too large). Concern about consumption emerges, if at all, in benign ways ;as calls for green purchasing or more recycling, or for small changes in production processes. Many academics, policymakers, and journalists, in fact, accept the economists' view of consumption as nothing less than the purpose of the economy. Yet many people have a troubled, intuitive understanding that tinkering at the margins of production and purchasing will not put society on an ecologically and socially sustainable path.Confronting Consumption places consumption at the center of debate by conceptualizing "the consumption problem" and documenting diverse efforts to confront it. In Part 1, the book frames consumption as a problem of political and ecological economy, emphasizing core concepts of individualization and commoditization. Part 2 develops the idea of distancing and examines transnational chains of consumption in the context of economic globalization. Part 3 describes citizen action through local currencies, home power, voluntary simplicity, "ad-busting," and product certification. Together, the chapters propose "cautious consuming" and "better producing" as an activist and policy response to environmental problems. The book concludes that confronting consumption must become a driving focus of contemporary environmental scholarship and activism.

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About the Author:

Thomas Princen is the author of The Logic of Sufficiency and lead editor of Confronting Consumption, both published by the MIT Press and both winners of the International Studies Association's Harold and Margaret Sprout Award for best book on international environmental affairs. He teaches social and ecological sustainability at the University of Michigan.

Review:

"A Comprehensive analysis of how and why consumer society wreaks havoc on Earth." syracuseculturalworkers.org



"...an excellent exploration of what could turn out to be one of the frontrank issues of our time." Norman Myers Nature



"Are you willing to confront consumption?...then read this book." Vicki Robin Journal of Positive Futures



"... read this book." Vicki Robin Journal of Positive Futures



"The authors are to be commended for breaking the code of silence surrounding consumption and engaging the debate." Richard Walthers Green @ Work Magazine



"The book certainly succeeds in thinking 'outside the box'..." Global Environmental Politics



"The book certainly succeeds in thinking 'outside the box'." Global Environmental Politics



"This book is important not just for its brilliance but for its rarity: few environmental scholars have dared to take on this issue in a manner that goes beyond rhetorical posturing and 'limits to growth' type arguments." Lamont C. Hempel, Hedco Professor of Environmental Studies and Director of Environmental Programs, University of Redlands



"This book is important not just for its brilliance but for its rarity: few environmental scholars have dared to take on this issue in a manner that goes beyond rhetorical posturing and 'limits to growth' type arguments."--Lamont C. Hempel, Hedco Professor of Environmental Studies and Director of Environmental Programs, University of Redlands



"Consumption deserves serious attention. This volume moves the literature beyond the work of a few isolated scholars and consumption activists to a collective enterprise of solid researchers critiquing and building on each other's contributions. Long overdue, but worth waiting for."--Richard B. Norgaard, University of California, Berkeley

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