Ethical Consumption: A Critical Introduction

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9780415558259: Ethical Consumption: A Critical Introduction
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A not-so-quiet revolution seems to be occurring in wealthy capitalist societies - supermarkets selling ‘guilt free’ Fairtrade products; lifestyle TV gurus exhorting us to eat less, buy local and go green; neighbourhood action groups bent on ‘swopping not shopping’. And this is happening not at the margins of society but at its heart, in the shopping centres and homes of ordinary people. Today we are seeing a mainstreaming of ethical concerns around consumption that reflects an increasing anxiety with - and accompanying sense of responsibility for - the risks and excesses of contemporary lifestyles in the ‘global north’.

This collection of essays provides a range of critical tools for understanding the turn towards responsible or conscience consumption and, in the process, interrogates the notion that we can shop our way to a more ethical, sustainable future. Written by leading international scholars from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds - and drawing upon examples from across the globe - Ethical Consumption makes a major contribution to the still fledgling field of ethical consumption studies. This collection is a must-read for anyone interested in the relationship between consumer culture and contemporary social life.

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About the Author:

Tania Lewis is a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Media and Communications at RMIT University, Melbourne. She is the author of Smart Living: Lifestyle Media and Popular Expertise (Peter Lang, 2008) and editor of TV Transformations: Revealing the Makeover Show (Routledge, 2008). She is currently conducting research on sustainable lifestyles and green citizenship, and is a chief investigator on an Australian Research Council-funded project (2010-2013) examining the role of lifestyle advice television in shaping social identity and consumer-citizenship in Asia.

Emily Potter is a Research Fellow in the School of Communication and Creative Arts, Deakin University. She is co-editor of Fresh Water: New perspectives on water in Australia (Melbourne University Press, 2007), and has published widely on questions of culture and the environment.

 

Review:

'Edited by Lewis (RMIT Univ., Australia) and Potter (Deakin Univ., Australia), this collection of essays is replete with critical analyses of a wide range of ethically salient issues such as global food production and distribution; fair trade and the commodification of poverty; commodity fetishism camouflaged as local, natural, and traditional consumption; ethically branded bottled water; green renovation; slow living; and more. These topics are brilliantly dissected by experts in human geography, cultural and media studies, and ethnography....Simple solutions are not to be found, but valuable case studies of collaboration across geographical distance and disciplinary affiliations reveal the possibilities of innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing problems. Summing Up: Recommended.'
-S. A. Mason, Concordia University in Choice, September 2011

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