`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 3: A Brief History of Consumer Activism
A Brief History of Consumer Activism
Consumption and consumerism are tricky words in the English language. They are replete with positive and negative attributes, implying on the one hand that people are free to vote with their feet, and on the other that they are manipulated by superior market forces. The rich literature on consumers, consumerism and consumption all thrive on this ambiguity. In our book The Unmanageable Consumer (Gabriel and Lang, 1995), we set out to explore this ambiguity, trying to make sense of the diverse forms that consumption assumes in modern societies and the variety of meanings assumed by the term ‘consumerism’.
In this chapter we reflect and build on the analysis we offered in our book on ...