• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The Unmanageable Consumer examines the key Western traditions of thinking about and being a consumer. Each chapter posits a consumer model with examples from the international community. Readers are invited to enter an exciting and radical analysis of contemporary consumerism which suggests that consumerism is fragile and consumers unpredictable.

The Consumer as Activist
The consumer as activist

Consumption and leisure are not substitutes for power.

LesterThurow, 1993: 121
Core Arguments

There is a long tradition of consumer activism in many different countries. The Irish gave the name to the boycott, but the Americans had practised it much earlier against the British when pressing for independence, as indeed did the Indians under Gandhi much later. But consumer activism assumes many different formats: campaigns, legal cases, education, individual and collective acts, whistle-blowing and other forms of direct action. We identify four waves and types of consumer activism, each with its own characteristics: the co-operative movement, which argued that consumers must take control of production; the value-for-money movement, which argued for scientific testing of products to provide information on best value; ...

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