Thomas Princen, Michael Maniates, Ken Conca
MIT Press, 2002 - Business & Economics - 382 pages
Comforting terms such as "sustainable development" and "green production" frame environmental debate by stressing technology (not green enough), economic growth (not enough in the right places), and population (too large). Concern about consumption emerges, if at all, in benign ways; as calls for green purchasing or more recycling, or for small changes in production processes. Many academics, policymakers, and journalists, in fact, accept the economists' view of consumption as nothing less than the purpose of the economy. Yet many people have a troubled, intuitive understanding that tinkering at the margins of production and purchasing will not put society on an ecologically and socially sustainable path.
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 and policy response to environmental problems. The book concludes that confronting consumption must become a driving focus of contemporary environmental scholarship and activism.
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Consumption and Its Externalities Where Economy Meets Ecology
Individualization Plant a Tree Buy a Bike Save the World?
Commoditization Consumption Efficiency and an Economy of Care and Connection
Chains of Consumption
Distancing Consumption and the Severing of Feedback
Consumption and Environment in a Global Economy
The Distancing of Waste Overconsumption in a Global Economy
In Search of Consumptive Resistance The Voluntary Simplicity Movement
Jamming Culture Adbusters Hip Media Campaign against Consumerism
Think Globally Transact Locally The Local Currency Movement and Green Political Economy
Caveat Certificatum The Case of Forest Certification
Citizens or Consumers The Home Power Movement as a New Practice of Technology
Conclusion To Confront Consumption