`This book is not simply the best book on the remarkable phenomenon of today's ethical consumer. It is a gift of advice and insight, from the people that know best, to the cause of tomorrow. Many of the writers deserve the plaudits of being pioneers of a new consumer movement. These are the issues of our time' - Ed Mayo, Chief Executive of the UK's National Consumer Council (NCC) Who are ethical consumers and why are they on the rise? Leading the way towards answering this question, The Ethical Consumer is an indispensable introduction to the subject. Exploring areas like boycotts and fair trade projects, it gathers together the diverse experiences of scholars, campaigners and business practitioners from the international community.The chapters in this book explore: - ethical consumer behaviours, motivation and narratives - the social, political and theoretical contexts in which ethical consumers operate- the responsibilities of businesses and the effectiveness of ethical consumer actions Contributions are informed by a broad range of research methods, from case studies, focus groups to surveys and interviews.The text is of interest to business related graduates, undergraduates and their tutors on courses relating to consumption. It will also be relevant to academics in other disciplines, as well as to politicians, producers, practitioners, campaigners and not least consumers.
Chapter 1: Philosophy and Ethical Consumption
Philosophy and Ethical Consumption
This chapter introduces some basic philosophical approaches that are useful in understanding and evaluating ethical consumption issues and ethical consumer behaviour. The chapter is divided into three sections. The first section introduces the two main approaches to ethics in moral philosophy, ‘consequentialism’ and ‘deontology’, and considers how appropriate they are when applied to questions of consumption. The example of consumer responses to products made using child labour is then explored to show how these two different approaches to ethics can lead to different outcomes.
The second section considers the relevance of another approach, virtue ethics, which it is argued has the advantage of concentrating on the broad contexts in which ethical issues arise. Virtue philosophy focuses on ...