Living production-engaged alternatives: An examination of new consumption communities

Moraes, Caroline; Szmigin, Isabelle and Carrigan, Marylyn (2010). Living production-engaged alternatives: An examination of new consumption communities. Consumption Markets & Culture, 13(3) pp. 273–298.



In this study we draw on varied theoretical perspectives to explore and gain an alternative understanding of consumption at New Consumption Communities (NCCs). Intrinsic to the notion of NCCs is a sense of community between production-engaged consumers who question market practices deemed inadequate or unfair. Reported findings are part of a three-year ethnographic research project and suggest that such communities have been overly perceived as presenting radical resistance to prevailing ideologies of consumer society. Collectively, they are more interested in entrepreneurial positive discourses, practices and choices, than in acting against consumer culture or markets. This view is buttressed by their varied production-engaged practices, which in turn are problematized in relation to (perhaps outdated) notions of consumers, producers and their interrelationships. Finally, this paper attempts a fluid classification of the NCCs (Committed, Engaged Alternatives, Apprentices and Visionaries), and offers a view of alternative consumer behaviour that goes beyond the current “anti” discourses in the extant literature.

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