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The Performative Nature of Consumer Research: Consumers’ Environmental Awareness as an Example


  • Eva Heiskanen



This article considers the way “green consumers” are constructed – or performed – in studies on consumer environmentalism aiming to inform policy makers. The focus is on concrete data gathering operations, which are exemplified by four brief examples from the author’s own research experience. The conclusion is that consumer research is a creative process, in which consumers are made to interact with different contexts, thus eliciting different outcomes. These conclusions give rise to two suggestions. More attention should be paid to context in research, which is already occurring. More fundamentally, researchers should recognize their active, performative role when interacting with consumers as research subjects, on the one hand, and with policy-makers and other social actors as research utilizers, on the other. Copyright Springer 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Eva Heiskanen, 2005. "The Performative Nature of Consumer Research: Consumers’ Environmental Awareness as an Example," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 28(2), pages 179-201, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jcopol:v:28:y:2005:i:2:p:179-201
    DOI: 10.1007/s10603-005-2272-5

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    Cited by:

    1. Jingze Jiang, 2016. "Peer Pressure in Voluntary Environmental Programs: a Case of the Bag Rewards Program," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 155-190, June.
    2. Amelia Sharman, 2015. "The impact of controversy on the production of scientific knowledge," GRI Working Papers 207, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

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