The question of consumption emerged as a major focus of research and scholarship in the 1990s but the breadth and diversity of consumer culture has not been fully enough explored. The meanings of consumption, particularly in relation to lifestyle and identity, are of great importance to academic areas including business studies, sociology, cultural and media studies, psychology, geography and politics. The SAGE Handbook of Consumer Culture is a one-stop resource for scholars and students of consumption, where the key dimensions of consumer culture are critically discussed and articulated. The editors have organised contributions from a global and interdisciplinary team of scholars into six key sections: Part 1: Sociology of Consumption Part 2: Geographies of Consumer Culture Part 3: Consumer Culture Studies in Marketing Part 4: Consumer Culture in Media and Cultural Studies Part 5: Material Cultures of Consumption Part 6: The Politics of Consumer Culture

Chapter 27: Sustainable Consumption, Consumer Culture and the Politics of a Megatrend

Sustainable Consumption, Consumer Culture and the Politics of a Megatrend

Sustainable Consumption, Consumer Culture and the Politics of a Megatrend
William KilbournePierre McDonaghAndrea Prothero

Introduction

Three things must be clarified before we can proceed with the examination. These are the terms sustainability, politics and megatrend. Unfortunately, all three are ambiguous and few disciplines have arrived at a consistent definition for any of them. While we will not resolve the ambiguity to everyone's satisfaction, we will attempt to achieve an extensional bargain (Rappaport, 1953) through which we develop an understanding of how we are using the terms. First, sustainable development became a construct in 1987 through the Brundtland Report (Brundtland, 1987) and has remained ambiguous ever since. This is where we begin our examination of sustainable consumption. Megatrend, ...

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