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The Role of Formal and Informal Forces in Shaping Consumption and Implications for Sustainable Society: Part II

Author

Listed:
  • Kate Power

    () (Copenhagen Resource Institute, Højbro Plads 4, DK-1200 Copenhagen, Denmark)

  • Oksana Mont

    () (The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics, Lund University, P.O. Box 196, Tegnersplatsen 4, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden)

Abstract

Looking at consumption from a societal perspective, we can see that purchasing and behavior decisions are influenced by many factors, not the least which are what the people around us and in the media are doing. Other factors include economic influences, the marketing of products and technological innovations, and regulations governing consumption. This article, Part II, argues that in order to understand consumption, we need to move beyond the dominant (economic) understanding of consumers and consumer behavior, and think about the origins of our preferences, needs, and desires. A thorough understanding of consumption is informed by the contributions of sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, and behavioral scientists, who study the socio-cultural, social, and psychological contexts in which consumer behavior is embedded. These disciplines offer rich and complex explanations of human behavior, which in turn illuminate the discussion on how consumer behavior can be made more sustainable.

Suggested Citation

  • Kate Power & Oksana Mont, 2010. "The Role of Formal and Informal Forces in Shaping Consumption and Implications for Sustainable Society: Part II," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(8), pages 1-20, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:2:y:2010:i:8:p:2573-2592:d:9243
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Røpke, Inge, 2009. "Theories of practice -- New inspiration for ecological economic studies on consumption," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(10), pages 2490-2497, August.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    socio-cultural factors; psychological contexts; consumption behavior;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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