Mass-consumption as an activator of sustainable consumerist potentials
Mass-consumption concerns the omnipresent role of consumption in contemporary societies
with its problems of excessive resource use in current practices of consumption. The late
modern context and forces of mass-consumption can both trigger and prevent sustainable
consumption as well as shape its outcome. Through a literature review, both the examples of
alternative consumption (e.g. buycotts) and various kinds of anti-consumption, which involve
politically motivated ambitions to cut down on consumption, are addressed. The chapter
addresses different ways in how mass-consumption activates sustainable consumerist
potentials, including sentiments towards anti-consumption. It also shows how massconsumption
makes people unable to link consumption to political considerations, and enters
paths towards political anti-consumerism or realise their ambitions. Finally, the chapter
analyses possibilities and difficulties transforming niche sustainable consumerist initiatives to
the mainstream in a society dominated by mass consumption.
Sociologist with a broad, human scientific interest in social, economic and evolutionary dimensions of environmental and health related problems.