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Sustainability, self-identity and the sociology of consumption

  • Dennis Soron

    (Brock University, St. Catharines, ON, Canada)

Registered author(s):

    In order to develop a more nuanced model of consumer behaviour and the dynamics of behavioural change, this paper argues, the discourse of sustainable consumption needs to draw more fully upon the sociological literature addressing consumption, its varied drivers, and the complex roles it plays within contemporary life. Since its revival in the 1980s, the sociology of consumption has largely focused on the ways in which everyday consumption choices in affluent societies facilitate the process of creating and sustaining a 'self-identity'. While the literature in this field is not without its own flaws, framing sustainable consumption in relation to the problem of self-identity enables us to confront not only the psycho-cultural factors that maintain demand for material goods, but also the difficulties faced by ordinary people as they try to understand and respond ethically to large-scale social and ecological problems within an everyday environment that is highly commodified and individualized. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/sd.457
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    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Sustainable Development.

    Volume (Year): 18 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 172-181

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:sustdv:v:18:y:2010:i:3:p:172-181
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1099-1719

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