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From targets to recruits: the status of consumers within the political consumption movement

Abstract : In recent years, various social movement organizations have urged consumers to become more responsible for defending causes such as environmentalism and social justice, calling for boycotts, using labels to steer consumers towards more ethical products, or developing new types of exchange systems, consumption habits or lifestyles. Changing modes of consumption or lifestyles therefore seems to be a key objective in this consumer-targeted, collective action framework. However, the article shows that rather than trying to change mass consumer consumption patterns, these organizations actually seek to recruit consumers who support their causes into collective actions targeting companies and governments. It discusses the notion of political consumerism, which leads to deadlock, as it is impossible to demonstrate such shifts in consumption or even attribute them to the social movement actions. The article asserts that political consumption movements rely less on the occurrence of a hypothetical political consumerism among mass consumers and more on the organization of collective action among politicized consumers committed to targeting companies and governments for change.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 10, 2017 - 5:16:03 PM
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Sophie Dubuisson-Quellier. From targets to recruits: the status of consumers within the political consumption movement. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 2015, 39 (5), pp.404 - 412. ⟨hal-01520689⟩



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