Protecting the Environment the Natural Way: Ethical Consumption and Commodity Fetishism
ABSTRACT One of the ways that conservation and capitalism intersect is in ethical consumption, the shaping of purchasing decisions by an evaluation of the moral attributes of objects on offer. It is increasingly important as a way that people think that they can affect the world around them, including protecting the natural environment. This paper describes commodity fetishism in ethical consumption, and the degree to which this fetishism makes it difficult for ethical consumers to be effective both in their evaluation of objects on offer and in influencing the world around them. It looks at three forms of fetishism in ethical consumption: fetishism of objects, fetishism of the purchase and consumption of objects, fetishism of nature.
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- "In this cultural as well as political–economic context, key concerns around environmental conservation and social (in)justice are frequently implicated in market-based approaches to activism that have materialized as, for example, alternative, fair and green consumer products (Bryant and Goodman, 2004; Carrier, 2010; Guthman, 2008). The focus on the individual consumer is seen to obscure the structural disadvantages that perpetuate environmental injustices. "
ABSTRACT: Organic farm volunteering programs facilitate opportunities for volunteer tourists to fulfill their desire for authenticity and meaning through farm experience, while simultaneously meeting organic farmers’ need for affordable labor. We situate this presumably mutual partnership within the broader expansion of market-based activism and the political economy of organic agriculture in Hawai’i. Drawing on semi-structured interview and survey data from farm hosts and volunteers, we argue that while organic farm volunteering offers a short term coping strategy for some organic farmers, the cultural logic and rationale that propels these programs perpetuates the underlying labor problems that plague small organic farms. As a result, they lack the capacity to ameliorate the structural challenges that participants often set out to oppose. Without losing sight of its performative potential to discursively create space for alternative economic formations, this article demonstrates the limitations of organic farm volunteering when utilized as a form of civic participation to drive economic and socio-environmental change.Geoforum 10/2015; 65. DOI:10.1016/j.geoforum.2015.07.025 · 1.93 Impact Factor
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- "development. Thus it takes ethical consumption beyond things produced for the market and into what Polanyi would call 'fictitious commodities' of things that are not produced directly for sale, but are appropriated in situ, like hotels selling their views or access to nature reserves (Carrier, 2011, page 205). This it will do in the context of Yunnan Province, a relatively poor and ethnically diverse province in South West China which has become prominently associated with 'ethnic tourism' – that is tourism to see minority cultures. "
ABSTRACT: A variety of ethical tourism initiatives have arisen which look at the distribution of benefits and costs arising from the movement of western tourists who are consuming places in the Global South. This paper troubles those positions. Taking the case of the rise of domestic tourism in China, the paper examines the linked patterns of ethnic and nature based tourism. Theories of how natural and cultural heritage are valued by tourists are typically derived from Western historical precedents. Notions of individualised, romantic modes of consumption of pristine nature may well be inadequate in other contexts. The paper examines the double edged role of Chinese notions of harmony of people and nature in offering new opportunities for development for poor minority groups whilst also enrolling them in 4 modes of governance that turn them into bio-cultural resources. Looking across examples drawn from Yunnan in South Western China, the paper identifies how environmental ethics are mobilised and script minority identities in 4 ways: the valorisation of geopiety, blurring nature and culture in geotourism, in quests for rural simplicity, and celebrations of place based folk culture that simultaneously render it mobile. The rise of domestic environmentally concerned tourism is shown to fit the emergence of an ecological but market led mode of governance over minority groups.Geoforum 06/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.geoforum.2015.06.010 · 1.93 Impact Factor
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- "First , in its close associa - tion with the rise of philanthrocapitalism ( Bishop and Green 2008 ) , celebrity helps to legitimate a paradigmatically neoliberal approach to governance emphasising businesses ' capacity to self - regulate in the absence of substantial state oversight via so - called ' corpo - rate social responsibility ' strategies ( Holmes 2012 , Kapoor 2012 ) . Celebrities also help to sell ( often literally through their corporate endorsement contracts ) the idea intrinsic to this neoliberal approach that individuals can contribute to social causes primarily through ' ethical ' consumption of ostensibly socially and environmentally sustainable commodities rather than direct political engagement ( Carrier 2010 ) . Further , celebrities contribute to legitimating the spectacular rise of private philanthropy efforts on the part of wealthy individuals ( see Kapoor 2012 ) , a movement that both promotes neoliberalism in cham - pioning its ' private visions of the public good ' ( Raddon 2008 , p . "
ABSTRACT: The growing prominence of celebrities within the global environmental movement – and their power to shape and advance this movement’s aims – has been a burgeoning focus of recent research. Thus far, such analysis has viewed the phenomenon primarily through a political economy lens, contending that celebrity is harnessed to further the agenda of a mainstream environmental movement which has become increasingly conjoined with neoliberal capitalism, as expressed in the mounting enthusiasm to address ecological decline through corporate partnership and incentive-based market mechanisms. This article draws on a psychoanalytic approach to offer the complementary suggestion that celebrity also functions as a form of transference helping to sustain the fantasy implicit in this neoliberal vision ‘that capitalist markets are the answer to their own ecological contradictions’. Through transference, the charismatic authority conferred to larger-than-life celebrities helps to conceal the gaps between Real and Symbolic in this vision and thus obfuscates contradictions inherent in the execution of neoliberal environmental strategies. From this perspective, cynical suspicion concerning celebrities’ authenticity may paradoxically enhance their authority, and thus this analysis helps to explain counterintuitive findings that widespread ambivalence towards celebrities does little to diminish their power to shape public sentiment.Celebrity Studies 01/2015; DOI:10.1080/19392397.2015.1087212