How Mainstream Consumers Think about Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
This article examines how mainstream consumer thinking is structured in order to form opinions about consumer rights, government regulation, and individual responsibility in the credit card setting. A broader political ideology-one that intertwines consumption practices with a causal narrative of business, society, and state-infuses consumer opinions. The article finds that four sociohistorically shaped political myths compete in this ideological space: individual autonomy, social equality, consumer sovereignty, and corporate dominance. Consumers negotiate tensions between each of these four myths-for example, individual autonomy versus social equality, and consumer sovereignty versus corporate dominance. This ideology triggers moral judgments among consumers about self and others that inform their perceptions of deservedness and apportions degrees of responsibility and blame across consumer, business, and government participants. (c) 2010 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..
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