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Citizen-Consumers as Agents of Change in Globalizing Modernity: The Case of Sustainable Consumption

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Author Info

  • Gert Spaargaren

    ()
    (Environmental Policy Group, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 8130, Hollandseweg 1, 6706 KN Wageningen, The Netherlands)

  • Peter Oosterveer

    ()
    (Environmental Policy Group, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 8130, Hollandseweg 1, 6706 KN Wageningen, The Netherlands)

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    Abstract

    The roles that individuals can adopt, or get assigned, in processes of global environmental change, can be analyzed with the help of three ideal-type forms of commitment: as environmental citizens, as political consumers, and as individual moral agents. We offer a discussion of the three roles in the context of sustainability changes in everyday life practices of consumption. Sociological accounts of (sustainability) transitions are discussed with respect to their treatment of the concept of agency vis à vis the objects, technologies, and infrastructures implied in globalizing consumption practices. Using consumption practices as basic units of analysis helps to avoid individualist and privatized accounts of the role of citizen-consumers in environmental change, while making possible a comprehensive analysis of the relationship between the personal and the planetary in the process of greening everyday life consumption.

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    File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/2/7/1887/pdf
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    File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/2/7/1887/
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Sustainability.

    Volume (Year): 2 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 7 (June)
    Pages: 1887-1908

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    Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:2:y:2010:i:7:p:1887-1908:d:8831

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    Web page: http://www.mdpi.com/

    Related research

    Keywords: citizen-consumers; social practices; sustainable consumption; lifestyle-politics; globalization;

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    Cited by:
    1. Diana Mincyte, 2012. "How milk does the world good: vernacular sustainability and alternative food systems in post-socialist Europe," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 41-52, March.
    2. Dixon, Jane & Isaacs, Bronwyn, 2013. "Why sustainable and ‘nutritionally correct’ food is not on the agenda: Western Sydney, the moral arts of everyday life and public policy," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 67-76.

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