Book

Confronting Consumption

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Abstract

Confronting Consumption places consumption at the center of debate by conceptualizing "the consumption problem" and documenting diverse efforts to confront it. In part 1, the book frames consumption as a problem of political and ecological economy,. emphasizing core concepts of individualization and commoditization. Part 2 develops the idea of distancing and examines transnational chains of consumption in the context of economic globalization. Part 3 describes citizen action through local currencies, home power, voluntary simplicity, "ad-busting", and product certification. Together, the chapters propose "cautious consuming" and "better producing" as an activist policy response to environmental problems. The book concludes that confronting consumption must become a driving force of contemporary environmental scholarship and activism. ***Winner of the International Studies Association's Harold and Margaret Sprout Award for best book on international environmental affairs
... Their families figure among the so-called amenity migrants, who leave the city in an effort to find a better quality of life. IT professionals' households also appear in the research on voluntarily simplicity (Maniates 2002;Walther and Sandlin 2013). Moreover, 149 The relative financial independence combined with an interest in nature can lead to environmentally harmful behaviour -flying to exotic lands or commuting with several cars from romantic secluded places. ...
... They travel by hitchhiking or in the family car and tend to head for the mountains rather than the sea. 301 Like the parents and the participants in some foreign studies (Grigsby 2004;Maniates 2002;Schor 1999), the children don't use political or environmental motives to justify their actions. MK Their behaviour is not the expression of deliberate self-restraint. ...
Book
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This book follows the successful titles “The Colourful and the Green: Chapters on Voluntary Simplicity” and “The Half-Hearted and the Hesitant: Chapters on Ecological Luxury.” The author poses the question of why, at a time of continuing devastation of nature, people’s interest in nature conservation has been decreasing. Are the media to blame or is our numbness toward ecological problems rooted in our mental makeup that tends to supress unpleasant realities? The author also wants to find out why some people have remained faithful to nature. To get to the answers, she applies sociological, philosophical, psychological, and theological perspectives. An unexpected question that may surprise some readers then becomes: Actually, why should we protect nature when it can take care of itself? It is not weak; it is strong and cruel. Librová’s students Vojtěch Pelikán, Lucie Galčanová, and Lukáš Kala interview the children of “the Colourful,” too: have they inherited their parents’ modest lifestyle?
... The drivers of external water consumption at the individual household level have been broadly analyzed. Research to date supports the generalization that socioeconomic status is linked to resource consumption, in that the greater the level of affluence, the higher the rate of natural resource consumption [14][15][16][17][18][19][20]. In addition, people tend to increase or reduce their purchases of goods and services based on affordability [21][22]). ...
... We find evidential support for status honor [32][33][34][35], affluence and increased resource consumption [14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22], structural conditions [29][30], and cultural inertia [43][44] based explanations for water usage and landscaping decisions. We did not find evidential support for landscape legacy [46][47] nor for political economy network [57] based explanations of water usage and landscaping decisions. ...
Preprint
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Urban development and planning are increasingly centered on matters of sustainability, balancing economic development with ecosystem services and biotic structures within urban environments. In addition to these institutional and structural factors, the decision-making process within individual households must be understood to address rising concerns about water use. Therefore, individual characteristics and preferences that influence the use of water also warrant examination. In response to a survey of occupants of single-family residences in the Fresno Clovis Metropolitan Area of California, contextual interviews and focus group interviews with a homeowner sub-sample, we find evidence of an interplay of social-structural, institutional, and cultural factors involved in influencing individual water use behaviors and landscape decision making. The complexity of residential behaviors and decision-making poses some potential issues with regards to the interactions between individual households and institutional actors in matters of water usage and landscaping, as survey respondents indicate relatively little confidence in institutions and groups to make wise water policy decisions. We conclude that the promotion and implementation of sustainable water use practices will require not only environmental education for the citizenry, but also a tailoring of information for environmental educational initiatives that address the particularities of individual neighborhoods and communities.
... Very few people understand how electricity is generated and distributed, and, as reported in an earlier chapter, the calculations and methodologies involved in setting electricity prices are so complex that even the different government agencies involved have a hard time explaining clearly how it all works (Mouton, 2013: 41). This leads to 'distancing,' whereby consumers are separated from resource-use decisions that take place in production processes, leaving them little basis for their choice beyond price (in Princen et al., 2002). With complex supply chains, signals are rare and confusing, which also leads to 'shading,' or the obscuring of costs, as these costs are sent downstream from one firm to the next. ...
... In his 1865 The Coal Question. An Inquiry Concerning the Progress of the Nation, and the Probable Exhaustion of our Coalmines, W. Stanley Jevons noted that coal-use efficiency drives greater overall consumption, or what some authors have referred to as Jevons' Paradox (Princen et al., 2002). At the time, Jevons was not aware of the distinction between renewable and non-renewable resources, which poses an additional problem: fossil fuels are non-renewable resources, the consumption of which inevitably leads to resource depletion. ...
... During this time conservation psychology developed effective interventions for promoting environmental stewardship (Clayton 2012;Hamann et al. 2016) and responding to global climate change (Clayton et al. 2015). Recently, however, it has been questioned whether a consumer-focused, fossil-fueled technoindustrial society can ever be made sustainable (Bardi 2011;De Young 2014;Monbiot 2015;Princen 2014;Princen et al. 2002;Turner 2008Turner , 2012. ...
... Green consumerism is fully compatible with efforts to make only incremental changes to techno-industrial society. Within this framework, consumers are treated as fully independent, self-determining and sovereign (Princen 2010;Princen et al. 2002). ...
Chapter
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Techno-industrial societies face biophysical limits and the consequences of disrupting Earth’s ecosystems. This creates a new behavioural context with an unmistakable demand: Citizens of such societies must turn from seeking new resources to crafting new living patterns that function well within finite ecosystems. This coming transition is inevitable, but our response is not preordained. Indeed, given the complex, multi-decade-long context, the required pro-environmental behaviours cannot be fully known in advance. Furthermore, the urgency to respond will necessitate that whole clusters of behaviour be adopted; incremental and serial change will not suffice. Thus, a culture of small experiments must be nurtured. The process of change will seriously tax social, emotional and attentional capacities. Thus, priority is placed on emotional stability and clear-headedness, maintaining social relationships while stressed, pro-actively managing behaviour and a willingness to reskill. These aspects of coping share a common foundation: the maintenance of attentional vitality and psychological well-being. Changes also must occur in how pro-environmental behaviours are promoted. We must move beyond interventions that are expert-driven, modest in request, serial in implementation and short-term in horizon. New interventions must create the conditions under which citizens become behavioural entrepreneurs, themselves creating, managing and sharing successful approaches to behaviour change.
... Some theorists have welcomed the development of ethical consumption for its possibilities to expand the policymaking process, to reinvent democracy, and reconstitute the private realm as a site for citizenship [27,28]. Other authors have been more critical as economistic reasoning and productivism have remained unchallenged and consumption itself sacrosanct [29]. Ecological problems are seemingly solved with better production, improved technology, and new products. ...
... Thus, a contextualized understanding of the ecological and ethical implications of the consumer choice is lost, and perfect or near-perfect information for rational and sovereign consumer decisions is impossible. Further, consumer choices are embedded in social contexts (media, advertisements), social structures and cultural practices that make consumption "convenient, rewarding, and even necessary" [29] (p. 15). ...
Article
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The unfolding of the ecological disaster has led authors to reconsider the position of the human subject and his/her relationship with the earth. One entry point is the concept of ecological citizenship, which emphasizes responsibility, community, and care. However, the discourse of ecological citizenship often reduces the human subject to a critical consumer-citizen and citizenship education to the production of such a subject. The position outlined in this paper provides a more fundamental critique of consumption as a way of being in and relating to the world. In particular, it foregrounds objectification, commodification, and its impacts on human and nonhuman subjectivity and the possibility of care within a multi-species community. The paper brings animal-sensitive work in environmental education research and political theory into dialogue with a more general critique of culture and pedagogy in consumer society. From this perspective, ecological citizenship education seeks to liberate human and nonhuman beings from predetermined behavioral results and functions, and opens the time and space for the subjectification of human and nonhuman citizens within the complex dynamics of a multi-species community. With this proposition, the paper contributes to an ecocentric understanding of ecological citizenship education that builds on the continuity of life and subjective experience.
... For example, you are interested in how some individuals are able to meet most of their needs with few material goods (nonconsumption). 3 Work on consumption, especially within the environmental literature, is burgeoning (Bauman, 2007;Princen, Maniates, & Conca, 2002). The thesis is simple: If we do not reduce consumption (from the use of natural resources by large industries to our personal take-out coffee cups), our environment will deteriorate (e.g., pollution, excessive demand of natural resources, global warming). ...
... On the contrary, economic growth doesn't always ensure a similar level of human subjective well-being as promised to deliver. The current overconsumption trends are mainly driven by technological innovation, fashion, deferral pricing, corporations, branding, and marketing strategies (Crocker 2013;Princen et al. 2002;Slade 2006). Over time, these influential factors contribute to product obsolescence and repetitive consumption practices, which are the core cause of generating excessive waste and depleting natural resources. ...
Chapter
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There is a growing interest in addressing global waste problems by applying innovative ideas and philosophies such as zero-waste and circular economy. As a new sustainability paradigm, zero-waste challenges the common assumption of waste as a valueless and unavoidable by-product created at the end of the product’s life phase. Instead, it acknowledges that waste is a “misallocated resource” or “resource in transition”; produced during the intermediate phases of production and consumption activities. Waste should be recirculated to production and consumption processes. Therefore, zero waste means no “waste” would be wasted under the circular economy system. This chapter presents various examples of zero-waste practices derived from family, community, business, and city levels. In addition, zero-waste implementation strategies and actions are also discussed in the chapter. Despite its potential, the visionary zero-waste goals cannot be achieved without responsible global stewardship and active citizens’ role.
... Significant parts of the new field of consumption research have been driven by an interest in questions of environmental (un)sustainability and, in many cases, coupled with action-oriented ambitions of not only understanding, but changing, consumption (e.g. Princen et al., 2002;Jackson, 2005). The practice turn in many ways developed alongside, and strengthened, the focus on sustainability, and 'sustainable consumption studies' is by some now seen as a distinct subfield (see discussion in Evans, 2019). ...
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Unsustainable consumption patterns are among the world’s most wicked problems. In large part in response to the environmental unsustainabilities embedded in modern consumer societies, a large field of consumption research has developed over the past decades. This introductory chapter reviews the history and development of consumption research and situates the contributions in this book within the broader field. We start broadly, before zooming in on the ‘practice turn’ and on research engaging with consumption and sustainability. Following this, we outline the chapters of the book and conclude with some reflections on the possible future of consumption research, calling for a broader agenda for research on consumption and sustainability.
... The consumer sovereignty principle has it that consumers must be pleased; they must have abundant goods at low, low prices (Princen et al., 2002). There is probably a no better illustration of the power of this principle than the initial reluctance of the European Union and North America to sanction energy supplies from Russia when it invaded Ukraine in 2022. ...
Article
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Sufficiency as a social organizing principle can be applied to individuals, organizations, and economies. But if the encompassing social structure, namely, the state, is still organized around expansionist principles like efficiency and growth, the outcome will be the same—excess, the exceeding of regenerative capacities biophysical and social, local to global. A prospective project of effecting fundamental social change argues that sufficiency must be applied to the state. From a natural resources perspective defining features of the state form are concentration and surplus both of which tend to excess and require endless frontiers. Re-organizing to counter this tendency and institutionalizing sufficiency requires imaginative politics. A long multicultural human history of reorganizing to adapt to environmental conditions bodes well. Resistance, though, even as the contradictions play out, is to be expected.
... The sustainable development discourse, which gained momentum in recent years, has also contributed to a re-assessment of the consumerist mode. The central role that consumption plays in the current environmental crisis is surprisingly little addressed in the context of the sustainability debate (Princen et al., 2002). Political economist Thomas Princen argues that one of the main reasons for this occurrence is the fact that economics traditionally focuses on production (producing goods as the main purpose of economic activity), and not so much on consumption (ibid., p. 24). ...
Thesis
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This thesis contributes to the understanding of the collaborative economic model and its applicability in the development of heritage tourism in rural areas. It does so by examining the conceptual and operational attractiveness of the collaborative economy and by proposing a new collaborative model for tourism development. The first part of the research provides a broad theoretical contextualisation of the collaborative economic model. The main assumption is that the duality between individual and collective values lies at the core of all social interactions, and is essential in understanding the conceptual appeal of the collaborative model. The study draws upon concepts and paradigms from a wide range of academic disciplines to frame this assumption: moral philosophy, religion, history, national and political narratives, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, psychology, anthropology and World Heritage discourses. It continues with an analysis of this duality within various theoretical models in the history of Western political economy, and argues that the search for an ideal model of economic policy represented a constant balancing act between individualist or collective goals. The thesis further investigates this duality at the microeconomic level, in relation to specific aspects of economic behaviour: motivation, interaction, ownership, and modes of consumption. The research continues to examine the key characteristics of the collaborative economy, as an emerging model that challenges the structures of the dominant market economy. It demonstrates how the collaborative economy provides an ingenious manner to reconcile individual interests with a sense of community and cooperative action, developing a narrative that rehabilitates the social nature of economic activities. The second part of the thesis investigates the operational attractiveness of a potential collaborative tourism model. It explores the perspectives of both the providers (hosts) and the consumers (tourists) of travel experiences. With the help of data collected from a survey conducted at four selected locations in Romania (Hrabusna, Breaza de Sus) and India (Bhavikeri, Gokarn), the study identifies a high level of acceptance from potential hosts towards a small-scale collaborative tourism model. Similarly, data collected from an online survey offers valuable insights into the tourists’ acceptance of a collaborative tourism model and the functional aspects of its implementation. Finally, the thesis proposes a new collaborative model for small-scale heritage tourism in rural areas – sharitage. The findings of this research provide a good basis for the elaboration of new socio-economic practices that would generate development opportunities and transparent benefits for vulnerable communities in rural areas, respond to the growing tourist demand for immersive, locally contextualised travel experiences, and contribute to the safeguarding of traditional knowledge and practices.
... [99] However, with increased knowledge and awareness of the trade-offs associated with largescale production and critique of health and environmental impact associated with both production and disposal, the material culture of plastic design, use, and desirability gains considerable nuance and complexity only several decades into the future. [100,101] The environmental considerations associated with contamination during production and end of life (potential reuse and ultimate disposal), energy use linked to manufacturing, transport, and waste processing, and the multiplicity of cost (financial, social, environmental, reputational) are critical to what conditions are considered as viable systems of processing and manufacturing, transport, distribution, and scale-up. The narrative elements of the life cycle and supply chain of materials and products are also of increasing interest across stakeholder groups, from industry leaders aiming for transparency and control to consumers seeking to make more informed decisions along with price. ...
Article
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Advancing a socially‐directed approach to materials research and development is an imperative to address contemporary challenges and mitigate future detrimental environmental and social impacts. This paper reviews, synergizes, and identifies cross‐disciplinary opportunities at the intersection of materials science and engineering with humanistic social sciences fields. Such integrated knowledge and methodologies foster a contextual understanding of materials technologies embedded within, and impacting broader societal systems, thus informing decision making upstream and throughout the entire research and development process toward more socially responsible outcomes. Technological advances in the development of structural color, which arises due to the incoherent and coherent scattering of micro‐and nanoscale features and possesses a vast design space, are considered in this context. Specific areas of discussion include material culture, narratives, and visual perception, material waste and use, environmental and social life cycle assessment, and stakeholder and community engagement. A case study of the technical and social implications of bio‐based cellulose (as a source for structurally colored products) is provided. Socially‐directed research and development of materials for structural color hold significant capacity for improved planetary and societal impact across industries such as aerospace, consumer products, displays and sensors, paints and dyes, and food and agriculture.
... In globalized food systems, there are a large number of actors that are horizontally and vertically connected. This evolution from traditional agriculture to globalized agriculture has increased the distance between the places where food is produced and consumed [32]. This situation can lead to an increase in the probability of FLW due to a long time between post-harvest and consumption and the large number of transactions involved between the different FSC actors. ...
Article
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Undernourished and food insecurity are recognized as two highly relevant topics. Approximately 820 million people in the world are undernourished and 2 billion people have moderate or severe food insecurity (FAO). In addition, globally roughly one-third of food is not consumed and is wasted. This article aims to provide an updated estimate of food loss and waste (FLW) in China as, in the period 2016–2018, there were still 122 million people in this country experiencing undernourishment. In this research, we use a top-down mass balance approach, discuss how it affects the achievement of SDG 2, Zero Hunger, that it is linked also to target 12.3 that “seeks to halve global food waste at retail and consumer levels, as well as to reduce food loss during production and supply” (United Nations). We point out some challenges that private and public policies still need to overcome to reduce FLW. The results of this research may contribute a more accurate baseline for the design of public policies and strategies related to FLW and the corresponding SDGs.
... Thus, environmental psychologists have called on people to pay attention to sustainable development. One of the key tasks of such development is to encourage consumers to act in ways that promote the sustainability of the planet (Princen et al., 2002). Therefore, exploring the factors that influence sustainable consumer behavior is important for promoting sustainable development. ...
Article
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Previous studies have explored the relationship between positive emotions and individuals’ sustainable consumer behavior, but the results are inconsistent. Emotions with the same valence but different cognitive appraisals may have different effects on such behavior. Therefore, it is necessary to examine the effects of specific positive emotions on sustainable consumer behavior. Using a longitudinal survey and three experimental studies, this study tests the effect of gratitude on sustainable product choice and examines the underlying psychological mechanism. The results indicate that both trait and state gratitude increase individuals’ sustainable product choice. Furthermore, time discounting mediates the relationship between gratitude and sustainable product choice. Connectedness to the future self moderates the mediation process in the path from gratitude to sustainable product choice and in that from gratitude to time discounting. The findings enrich our understanding of the relationship between gratitude and sustainable product choice and provide marketers with tools to increase consumers’ sustainable product choice by incorporating a gratitude appeal into their marketing communications.
... Early in the environmental debate, population growth (primarily in developing countries) was argued by some to be the most obvious and significant cause of environmental degradation Historically, when production, consumption, and disposal were largely localized, the environmental impacts of consumption were visible to consumers and producers. But in a highly globalized world, it is difficult for consumers to be aware of the ramifications of their consumption choices, both upstream and downstream (Princen et al. 2002). Upstream ramification indicates emissions that happen due to the accumulation of raw materials for production, for example, raw materials from Central Africa are converted into goods in China. ...
... Since then, sociologists, social psychologists and ecological economists have taken the lead in thinking about the problems of high consumption in North America (e.g. Princen et al. 2002, Princen 2005, Jackson 2006). ...
Chapter
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... In part this is because rising personal incomes are allowing more individuals to consume more food, products, and natural resources over the course of their lives. And in part this is because economic metrics and political institutions tend to treat wasteful and excessive consumption as 'economic growth', a sign of prosperity, not unsustainability (Higgs, 2014;Princen, 2005;Princen et al., 2002). ...
Article
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Artificial intelligence (AI) is set to greatly enhance the productivity and efficiency of global supply chains over the next decade. Transnational corporations are hailing these gains as a 'game changer' for advancing environmental sustainability. Yet, looking through a political economy lens, it is clear that AI is not advancing sustainability nearly as much as industry leaders are claiming. As this article argues, the metrics and rhetoric of corporate social responsibility are exaggerating the benefits and obscuring the costs of AI. Productivity and efficiency gains in the middle sections of supply chains are rebounding into more production and consumption, doing far more to enhance the profitability of big business than the sustainability of the earth. At the same time, AI is accelerating natural resource extraction and the distancing of waste, casting dark shadows of harm across marginalized communities , fragile ecosystems, and future generations. The micro-level gains from AI, as this article exposes, are not going to add up to macro-level solutions for the negative environmental consequences of global supply chains, while portraying AI as a force of sustainability is legitimizing business as usual, reinforcing a narrative of corporate responsibility, obfuscating the need for greater state regulation, and empowering transnational corporations as global governors. These findings extend the theoretical understanding in the field of international political economy of the hidden dangers of relying on technology and corporate governance to resolve the deep unsustainability of the contemporary world order.
... The birth of the initiative came against the background of challenges faced by a big Asian city with ten millions citizens. These included typical challenges in transportation, housing, and general resource overcapacity (Princen, Maniates, and Conca 2002). However, according to a manager of the current partner of the Sharing City Seoul, one particular problem faced by Seoul is that "people are getting more and more individualized and [form] less connections with neighbours" 19 . ...
Article
The Internet of Things in the energy sector manifests itself in the form of smart energy technologies that bring forth new smart energy business models (BMs). This technological progress alongside with decentralization of renewable energy production, market liberalization, and changing customer demands is making it difficult for organizations to keep up with the changing nature of the energy industry. Traditional energy utilities are challenged by the emerging smart energy BMs as the latter can replace established business operations. This is especially true for the customer segment of private households, which has become a focus of BM innovation in recent years. To address the challenge of low market transparency and the dynamics of technology-induced BM change, we analyze the BMs of 175 energy firms addressing the end consumer market by using a static (i.e., deriving BM representations) and dynamic BM lens (i.e., analysis of BM changes). We identify eight smart energy BM representations in form of BM archetypes. The findings are set in relation to a theoretical understanding of BM change revealing a hesitancy of traditional utilities to revise their BMs. Instead, the energy utilities prefer to build on BM extensions by outsourcing the innovation activities in subsidiaries or by using partnerships. The BM archetypes together with the BM changes provide an overview of the current smart energy market for private households and can serve as a starting point for BM innovation especially for energy utilities.
... O aumento do nível de crítica e questionamento, tanto científico quanto social, sobre o modo de vida centrado na utilização intensiva de combustíveis fósseis parece evidente, uma vez que os modelos de crescimento econômico e de desenvolvimento vigentes têm se mostrado insustentáveis (STERN et al., 1997;PRINCEN et at., 2002;UNEP, 2002;MYERS, 2003;HOLDEN, 2004). ...
Article
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Nos últimos anos, a Demografia tem dedicado mais atenção às abordagens interdisciplinares sobre a questão ambiental. A incorporação da temática pela Demografia está em sintonia com o que tem sido observado em praticamente todos os campos do conhecimento, diante da nítida valorização das preocupações relacionadas à sustentabilidade no planeta. No centro das principais discussões ambientais da atualidade, os problemas gerados pelos desequilíbrios entre consumo, ambiente e população merecem cada vez mais destaque. Em um primeiro momento, este artigo oferece uma série de reflexões sobre a recente consolidação da demografia ambiental, buscando avaliar os caminhos ainda não trilhados e as possibilidades de crescimento dos estudos sobre população, consumo e ambiente. Em seguida, é apresentada uma revisão das abordagens oferecidas pelas Ciências Sociais sobre o consumo, investigando como estes estudos têm incorporado a questão ambiental. Ao final, explora-se a inserção do tema-consumo e ambiente-na Demografia, revelando a superação de velhos paradigmas e o surgimento de novos desafios. As reflexões presentes neste estudo demonstram que os trabalhos que lançam uma perspectiva demográfica sobre as implicações ambientais do crescimento do consumo esbarram na constante necessidade de desmistificar qualquer associação simplista entre crescimento demográfico e degradação ambiental. Atualmente, a explosão do consumo é, cada vez mais, vista como algo muito mais temido do que o crescimento exagerado da população. Palavras-chave: População. Ambiente. Consumo.
... It is plain for authors that su ciency o en goes against the mainstream worldview and dominant social paradigm based on consumerism and materialism, pushing for increased uses of energy-intensive services (Lorek et al 2013, Jackson 2009, Princen et al 2002. ere is also a recognition of the responsibility of the current economic system, and how its economic growth is de ned and achieved, as a barrier to su ciency. ...
Conference Paper
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The concept of sufficiency – reducing energy uses beyond technical efficiency – is far-reaching and requires a reflection on human needs, energy services, urban structures, social norms, and the role of policies to support the shift towards lower-energy societies. In recent years, a growing body of literature has been published on energy sufficiency in various disciplines. However, there has been limited exchanges and cooperation among researchers so far, hindering the visibility and impact of this research. This paper presents an assessment of where sufficiency research stands, especially in the perspective of policy-making. It is the first overview paper issued in the context of the newly-founded ENOUGH network – International network for sufficiency research & policy, established in 2017. In the first part, we provide a condensed literature review on energy sufficiency, based on dozens of recent references collected through the network. Through four main themes (the nature of sufficiency, the challenges of modelling it, the barriers to its diffusion, and the approaches to foster it), we summarise the key issues and approaches. We then present what the scholars themselves see as the priorities for future research, promising sufficiency policy options, and key barriers that research should help overcome. We collected their views through a questionnaire completed by more than 40 knowledgeable authors and experts from various disciplines. We finally build on the previous parts to draw some recommendations on how sufficiency research could increase its impact, notably in relation to policy-making.
... Consumer choice is seen, in many high-consuming liberal democracies, as a fundamental right (Maniates, 2002;Princen et al., 2002). In this context, governments have been hesitant to support climate mitigation policies with the potential to address total consumer demand-which is assumed to be deeply unpopular domestically. ...
... The extent to which technological progress can offset the ecological impacts of continued resource consumption has been questioned (Kemp & van Lente, 2011) as has been the uncritical view within the "green growth"/"ecological modernization" paradigm of the unsustainable behavior of consumer societies (Bäckstrand & Lövbrand, 2006). The above-described frames can, in these terms, be said to condone "green consumerism" where the buying of sustainably produced goods that is encouraged serves little purpose beyond easing people's guilt (Princen, Maniates, & Conca, 2002). ...
Article
News reporting on sustainability has been criticized for (1) having a limited coverage of solutions, (2) reporting on solutions with a negative bias, (3) being dominated by sources from government and mainstream business, and (4) promoting frames that prioritize the role of the market and techno-scientific solutions, which leave unchallenged the unsustainable behavior of consumer societies and the focus on economic growth. This study was the first to examine how sustainability is reported in a constructive media outlet and found that articles (1) consistently elaborated solutions, (2) described them in optimistic ways, (3) quoted various sources, and (4) developed a frame that challenged consumerism and critiqued society’s preoccupation with growth while helping to imagine a desirable sustainable future. It is thus argued that this novel, constructive approach to journalism can help move society to a sustainable future by expanding the repertoire of culturally-resonant stories to live by.
... Responsible consumption and production is highlighted as one of the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) set by the UN (United Nations, 2015), and overconsumption of natural resources and energy is broadly considered to be a major environmental concern (Durning, 1991;Princen et al., 2002). Environmental impacts from consumption are influenced by the total level of consumption, but also by what is consumed, since different products and services have different environmental impacts (e.g. ...
Article
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is one of the major areas of growth in consumption seen over the last two decades. The falling prices of ICT and increasing energy efficiency of ICT may lead to reduced spending on ICT and electricity in the future. However, lower spending in one area can trigger higher spending elsewhere, leading to ‘rebound effects’ which can reduce or even cancel out the environmental benefits associated with lower consumption of a given product or service, and reducing the efficacy of environmental policy. In this study we use Multi-Regional Input Output analysis to investigate trends in the consumption of, and environmental and social impacts associated with ICT products in Sweden and the EU. We find that ICT spending is linked to prosperity, with a clear fall as a result of the 2008 financial crisis, but a recovery since. There is some evidence that the environmental impact associated with ICT has begun to decouple from consumption in Sweden, but not at an EU level. Environmental rebound effects associated with reduced ICT consumption are strong – close to, and in most cases far above 100% (so called backfire effects). This backfire effect is strongest for energy use and total material footprint, which are both close to 200% in Sweden. This means that an increased spending on ICT products and services while keeping the overall consumption level constant, would decrease environmental impacts. Environmental rebound effects are much lower for reduced energy spending (as low as 2 percent), particularly at an EU level. Rebound effects in social indicators are assessed for the first time for ICT products. We find that value added in the EU is relatively insensitive to changes in spending patterns related to ICT and energy (rebound effects ∼100%), however rebound effects in employment are seen, particularly resulting from decreased energy spending. At an EU level, reallocation of spending resulting from lower energy consumption results in a net increase in employment, while in Sweden the reverse is true. We conclude that policies focused on reducing energy spending are likely to have a greater overall environmental effect than measures which result in reduced consumer spending on ICT. However, in light of the conflicting social rebound effects at an EU and Swedish level, the importance of understanding the broader consequences of policy decision across a broad range of measures in advance of their implementation is once again highlighted.
... There is value as well in continuing to probe whether conventional governance of a global capitalist economy of overconsumption can ever slow the escalating ecological crisis (e.g., Maniates 2001;Dauvergne 2016;Clapp 2017;Dauvergne 2018). This was a foundational set of questions in the genesis of the GEP field (Princen et al. 2002), and scholars should not lose sight of this bigger picture, which is all too often a footnote in GEP research. ...
Chapter
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This chapter identifies gaps and emerging issues to distill an agenda for high-impact and original research in global environmental politics. Justin Alger and Peter Dauvergne divide their overview of this research agenda into five categories: global political economy; international institutions and nonstate governance; ecological crisis; climate politics; and scholar activism and engaged research.
... The effects of human behaviour on socio-ecological systems has not been considered in individual or institutional decision making within societies. Due to globalization, the distant ecological and social consequences and impacts of consumption on other people and ecology have become obscured (Conca et al., 2002). Focusing on local action and solutions, while neglecting global impacts or the impacts on distanced localities has induced severe sustainability challenges. ...
Article
Climate change is a wicked problem of our time. It is a phenomenon that is difficult to combat with prevailing ways of thinking and behaving related to a modern understanding of humanity and education. In this article, the challenges of sustainability education are explored from the theoretical perspective of modern dichotomies. The article argues that to combat wicked problems of sustainability, awareness of interconnectedness is vital. In order to increase the understanding of what kind of dismantling of thinking in dichotomies and why the awareness of interconnectedness and pedagogical approaches are crucial in promoting sustainability, the literature of environmental philosophy, sociology and education are brought together with the literature of sustainability sciences and sustainability education. The principles of pedagogy of interconnectedness define the critical awareness of interconnectedness vital for sustainability education dealing with the wicked sustainability issues such as climate change. The pedagogy of interconnectedness underlines the essentiality of understanding of the world and humans as relational: recognizing the interdependence of society and nature, the local and global, and seeing the common reality as socially constructed and humanness and learning in a holistic way. A case of university pedagogy, the Climate.now online course material is presented and analysed as an example of interconnecting climate change education, how to implement the principle of pedagogy of interconnectedness in practice.
... " Therefore "producers are consumers; production is consumption. " 10 In economics, in contrast, consumption is only one part of aggregate economic demand-that part accounted for by the purchases of consumers. In a given national economy (abstracting from exports/imports) total demand consists of consumption plus investment plus government spending. ...
... " Therefore "producers are consumers; production is consumption. " 10 In economics, in contrast, consumption is only one part of aggregate economic demand-that part accounted for by the purchases of consumers. In a given national economy (abstracting from exports/imports) total demand consists of consumption plus investment plus government spending. ...
Conference Paper
Despite many advances in food sanitation techniques, foodborne diseases remain as one of the major causes of death worldwide. Traditional antimicrobial methods not only reduce the microbial population in foods to a varying extent, but damage the beneficial microorganisms found naturally in foods. Increasing number of foodborne outbreaks due to the pathogens resistant to antibiotics also require novel strategies. Although novel food processing technologies (pulsed electric field, high pressure applications, ultrasound, plasma treatment, and irradiation) are prominent processes in preventing bacterial contamination and bacteria multiplication in food, they are extremely costly and time consuming processes. Alternatively, the use of bacteriophages as biocontrol agents in food safety is attracting attention as a cheap and fast method. Phages are viruses that infect bacterial cells only and harmless to humans, animals, and plants. Phages are categorized as lytic or lysogenic based on their life cycles. Lytic phages have various potential applications as biocontrol agents in the food industry. Phage products developed for the main pathogenic bacteria that cause foodborne diseases have been used as antimicrobial agents on foods by obtaining GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) status and FDA approval. Phages have also been proposed as an alternative to antibiotics in animal health. The use of phages as an alternative method in food industry and health is today a popular topic that is gaining importance. In this report, it is aimed to provide an overview of the use of phages as biocontrol agents against foodborne pathogens and to provide up-to-date information on the common use of phages in food safety. Keywords: Bacteriophage, phage, pathogens, food safety
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This chapterModels discusses the concept of developmentDevelopment within the current economicEconomic framework. It deals with the pros and cons related to the economicEconomicgrowthGrowth trajectory founded on neoliberalismNeoliberalism and capitalismCapitalism that has advanced many nations globally, especially the rich nations, while the darker and destructive impacts have increased to the detriment of especially the poorer countries. This darker side that has led to crises related to climateClimate, biosphere, and resources, subsequently causing a humanitarian crisis is examined. The chapter compares the current developmentDevelopmentmodelModels with the sustainable developmentSustainable developmentmodelModels. Even though the word developmentDevelopment figures in both modelsModels they are fundamentally different. The chapter defines these differences, and points to emerging symptoms that indicate a shift away from neoliberal capitalismCapitalism brought about by the pandemic, and talks about the reasons behind this. The chapter discusses the role of the state as it is the entity solely responsible for the well-being, safety, and progress of its citizens. As such, it is the most vital factor in implementing sustainabilitySustainability. The chapter closes by looking at future perspectives and other factors to assess the possibility of implementing sustainable developmentSustainable development in the current framework.
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TheTransition chapter expands the discussion of the realisation of sustainabilitySustainability. The first part addresses barriersBarriers to sustainable developmentSustainable development that are innate in our current societies, covering politicalPolitical, economicEconomic, technological as well as cultural aspects. The second part discusses the barriersBarriers that emerged from the caseCases studies in the previous chapter. Some are clearly defined and visible Others are subtle, indirect, and complex. An observation from my research was that the closer I examined the sustainabilitySustainability construct in the context of the existing societal framework the more I uncovered barriersBarriers against its realisation. The barriersBarriers appear to be as interlinked and as interdependent as the sustainabilitySustainability construct itself. Some are broad, difficult obstacles, and some are practical and basic, easy to understand and address. The difficulty closing the gap between theory and the practical application does not seem to be due to a lack of scientific research or technological inventions and know-how, but due to the magnitude and amount of resistance, found everywhere in our society. Some of the barriersBarriers are universal and encompass aspects of our cultural and traditional make-up. Some are specific, such as those experienced and recorded in the caseCases stories. The chapter discusses each group of barriersBarriers as well as views on overcoming them.
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This chapter highlights the challenging processProcesses of creating a state of global sustainabilitySustainability. It outlines the potential frameworks and factors needed and draws a trajectory for the future based on the sum of the diverse parts. In doing so, the chapter summarizes the key ingredients in the challenge to achieving sustainabilitySustainability and concludes with final reflections on its realisability. Questions relating to barriersBarriers and processesProcesses are addressed from the perspectives of the current state of sustainable developmentSustainable development. Utopian theories and historical examples, as well as the practical experiences from the three casesCases are addressed. New influences are added, including recent global events and calls for action, and the impacts of the COVID-19Covid-19pandemic, the IPCCIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 6th AssessmentAssessment Report from 2021/2022 as well as the agreements made at COPConference of Parties (COP) 26. The aspect of inner sustainabilitySustainability comprising the emotional, psychological, and spiritual dimensions, is examined as it plays a key role in the changeChange of direction, as well as in building resilience to meet the new challenges as they arise.
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Over the course of human history, large-scale extractive fishing methods have led to the decline in aquatic food resources and the collapse of regional stocks in many parts of the world, as well as countless intentional and unintentional changes to the marine environment. Aquaculture produces target species by controlling their feed and attempting to control their growing environment to meet and maximize commercial benefits, and often to promote branding strategies. Such histories of fisheries and environmental changes are not known for contemporary food consumers in the industrial food system in which many foods are made, commoditized, and branded in a distance. Based on an ethnographic case study of human-oyster relations in Akkeshi, JapanJapan, this paper examines the social construction of merroir(the tasteTaste of ocean) with reference to Japan’s provenance fetishism (sanchisūhai) produced by distancing and shading in contemporary food systems. Many consumers are concerned about the origin of food products, as they believe certain places produce better quality seafood than others. However, they purchase seafood without knowing where the origin of the product is geographically located. The author aims to demonstrate that the practice of merroir is good to think for understanding of how the branding of food with a place and tasteTaste creates mythical values while promoting the externalization of environmental and actual local histories in the consumer society.
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The impact of globalization brings the change in lifestyle of individuals. It is observed Comfortable and fast moving life has a direct dependence on many modern gadgets and equipment needing higher energy consumption. Developed and developing nations have more energy consumption requirements. Global statistics reveals that primary energy consumption has been increased up to 118,947 TWh from 1965 (43,248 TWh) to 2019 (162,194 TWh). 2019 global statistics suggests the countries like; USA (15.241 tons per capita), Russia (11.127 tons per capita), Japan (8.742 tons per capita), China (7.405 tons per capita) are the leaders in sharing higher percentage of carbon emissions. Whereas India (1.8 tons per capita), Bangladesh (0.513 tons per capita), Pakistan (0.982 tons per capita) and Sri-Lanka (0.998 tons per capita), etc. share less percentage of carbon emissions. There are many factors factor contributing to energy consumption and carbon emission. This paper covers two major factors. The first case is the result of changing lifestyle, while the second one is for the intensive economic activities, world over. Energy consumption is taken here as an indicator to compare the changing lifestyle of people. The present paper studies, as a special focus, related issues concerning South – Asian countries like; India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka. This paper studies about energy consumption pattern disparities, across South Asian countries, and the relationship among population, urbanisation and industrialisation with growing dependence on energy consumption. Keywords: Changing Lifestyle, Carbon Emission, Energy Consumption, Urbanisation, Industrialisation
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Chapter
The Outcome Document of the recent international diplomatic conference on sustainable development, Rio+20, portrays it as a multi-stakeholder process aimed at increasing the wellbeing of present and future generations in a dynamic, inclusive, equitable, safe, lasting, and environmentally balanced fashion, emphasizing that it should lead to poverty eradication, social development, the protection of all human rights and the elimination of human-provoked damage to the natural environment and resource-base. This reflects a highly complex process. Whereas the wording of its features and purposes exhibits considerable progress in the international policy dialogue, it appears that, among analysts, policy-makers, and practitioners around the world, there could be still large dispersion in the precise understanding of many underlying notions, the main issues, and their interrelationships. Consequently, there is not yet enough clarity among all stakeholders as to how to proceed on the implementation of coherent and coordinated strategies and policies for sustainable development. This chapter presents an analytical framework to look at these matters from a systemic perspective, with the intention of inspiring non-specialists to consider the advantages of the Enterprise Architecture approach to generate more clarity, facilitate communication, enhance policy coherence, and foster cooperation and partnerships for improving sustainable development. Some practical uses of the systems approach to enhance strategy, organization, and management for sustainable development are suggested.
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The article analyses the social processes introduced by globalization into agrarian production systems. In particular, it explores how capital installs a new agriculture that generates an urban fringe in rural localities. We claim that the expansion of agricultural frontiers is also associated with the rise of new actors, residential changes and transformations in labour markets. The objective is to study the transformation that takes place in the agrarian social structure of a marginal agricultural area. It shows how this transformation leads to new residential behaviour that redefines the local relational system and to a transition from a “peasant” way of life to an urban‐type through the logic of the expulsion of the peasant population and the logic of agribusiness.
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This CRC for Low Carbon Living project investigates the role that media plays in shaping home renovation practices. This second report tells the story of the Home Renovators’ Media World. It provides a more detailed and nuanced understanding of the roles of media in home renovation processes, from the perspective of renovators. Such an understanding is essential in developing more effective communication and community engagement to achieve home renovations which are more energy efficient and which contribute to lower carbon dioxide emissions.
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This article examines the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) as a form of ethical trade. Its unique public mandate, rooted in “con trolling consumption” and semi-monopoly, has been central to its relative success as well as its general disregard by Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and ethical trade advocates, who focus on the actions of private corporations and individual consumers. Exploring the political significance of this oversight, its gaps and slippages, this article argues that the LCBO would do very well by standard CSR metrics, while also transcending them in several ways. The LCBO contributes billions of dollars to the public purse, acts as a form of “hidden developmental state,” negotiates prices with suppliers on the basis of “fair and equitable treatment,” and employs a unionized workforce with comparatively strong labour conditions. Recognizing this offers both a challenge to the dominant understandings of CSR, and the fantasies of a “harmonious market society,” while pointing to a wider perspective on a more transformative political vision of ethical trade.
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International food supply is often associated with negative externalities including injustices across the economic value chain favoring trade over production and processing, significant transport‐related greenhouse gas emissions, and poor working conditions in the regions where food is being produced or processed. Relevant proxies for this situation seem to be large distances, specifically, large geographical and relational distances. Sustainability entrepreneurship demonstrates innovative practices to address large distances in international food supply. We describe five entrepreneurial solution approaches and illustrate them with empirical cases to facilitate learning across cases and support wider adoption of these practices. Our study provides food scholars, entrepreneurs, and businesses with evidence and insights on how to foster sustainable food supply through overcoming large distances.
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This empirical small-n case study about the potential for a radical policy shift towards strong consumption governance focuses on the opinions of 21 elite actors in positions of power and influence: members of parliament, interest groups, government, and academia in Finland. The opinions gathered by interviews and a survey focused on the acceptability of an 80% reduction of household natural resource use by 2050, and the acceptability of strong policy measures to realize that goal: quotas, high taxes, and other controversial measures. The results revealed respondents’ high awareness of overconsumption, their general willingness to consider new consumption policy measures, and differences in opinions suggesting rifts within the regime. This latent transformation potential and openness to new policies enhances the need for further research, both in terms of policy development and policy acceptability.
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『企業と社会フォーラム学会誌 (Japan Forum of Business and Society Annals)』第6号 (No. 6)
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