A psycho-social approach to consumer ethics

Chatzidakis, A., Shaw, D. and Allen, M. (2021) A psycho-social approach to consumer ethics. Journal of Consumer Culture, 21(2), pp. 123-1245. (doi: 10.1177/1469540518773815)

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Research into consumer ethics has grown considerably over the last two decades. However, most studies adopt either a psychological or a socio-cultural approach and there has been little in the way of bridging the two together. Accordingly, we draw on Kleinian psychoanalysis as a means of advancing an explicitly psycho-social understanding of consumer ethics. Following an emerging tradition that conceptualizes moral dilemmas as questions of care, rather than abstract principles of moral and environmental justice, we conceptualize consumer care as a capacity that for its extension across difference and distance is subject to a variety of biographical, inter-subjective and institutional-level processes. Subsequently, we attempt to redress forms of theoretical reductionism noted in both psychological and socio-cultural accounts of everyday morality in consumption. We corroborate a more nuanced, mid-ground conceptualization that neither precludes nor overstates the possibility of consumer agency while also locating agency in inanimate objects. Finally, we offer a methodological contribution by introducing a psychoanalytic (Kleinian) approach to analyzing textual and visual data.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Chatzidakis, Dr Andreas and Shaw, Professor Deirdre and Allen, Dr Matthew
Authors: Chatzidakis, A., Shaw, D., and Allen, M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:Journal of Consumer Culture
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1741-2900
Published Online:04 May 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Consumer Culture 21(2): 123-145
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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