Ethical Consumption: A Critical Introduction

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Tania Lewis, Emily Potter
Routledge, 2011 - Social Science - 278 pages

A not-so-quiet revolution seems to be occurring in wealthy capitalist societies - supermarkets selling ‚e~guilt free‚e(tm) Fairtrade products; lifestyle TV gurus exhorting us to eat less, buy local and go green; neighbourhood action groups bent on ‚e~swopping not shopping‚e(tm). 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 ‚e~global north‚e(tm).

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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PART 1 Introduction
PART 2 Politics
PART 3 Commodities and materiality
PART 4 Practices sites and representations

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About the author (2011)

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.

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