`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 2: The Consumer as Economic Voter
The Consumer as Economic Voter
Consumers participate in creating the societies of which they are a part by their purchases, just as they may influence their environments by their votes in political elections. This idea is not new, but it has been neglected. Early last century Frank A. Fetter (1907: 394) suggested that ‘Every buyer … determines in some degree the direction of industry. The market is a democracy where every penny gives the right to vote.’ Later, and from the political right in the UK, Enoch Powell (1969: 33) explained how ‘everyone who goes into a shop and chooses one article over another is casting a vote in the economic ballot box’.
The expression ‘consumer votes’ therefore has ...