Empowerment, waste and new consumption communities

Bekin, Caroline; Carrigan, Marylyn and Szmigin, Isabelle (2006). Empowerment, waste and new consumption communities. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 26(1/2) pp. 32–47.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/01443330610644416

Abstract

Purpose
– This paper aims to explore the diverse and complementary resistance and waste‐reduction practices adopted by UK‐based New Consumption Communities, and whether such behaviours empower them to achieve their environmental and social goals.

Design/methodology/approach
– The methodology can be broadly classified as critical ethnography, which acknowledges the researcher's own subjectivity, how the informants are treated and represented, and the study's wider context. A participant‐observer role is employed and six distinct New Consumption Communities are explored.

Findings
– It is suggested that through their resistance and empowerment, as well as a reconnection to production, the communities are able to implement alternatives to the wasteful practices of mainstream consumption behaviour, and achieve (partial) autonomy from the hegemonic forces of the market.

Originality/value
– This paper's original perspective on waste is not limited to a small group of consumers, and thus should interest marketers and policy makers engaged in the advancement of sustainability and green marketing.

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