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