Political Consumerism and the Transition Towards a More Sustainable Food Regime Looking Behind and Beyond the Organic Shelf
- Gert Spaargaren
- Anne Loeber
- Peter Oosterveer
In media, policymaking and research, increasing attention is drawn to
the phenomenon of ‘green political consumerism’, referring to consumerrelated
practices that are based on concerns beyond the traditional criteria
of product quality and price. Political consumerism is about expressing
non-economic values, that is, values beyond the direct, economic self-interest
of consumers. Such values may concern social conditions of farmers
producing our food or the welfare of animals used in food production.
Green political consumerism is a concept that highlights a concern for environmental
conditions, although these concerns often overlap with social
and animal-related ones (Boström & Klintman 2008). Micheletti (2003)
has defi ned political consumerism as consumers’ ‘individualistic collective
action’, practiced, for instance, through boycotting or buycotting certain
products and services.
For the purpose of this chapter, it is important to mention that there is
a need to keep the defi nition of political consumerism subject to continuous
discussion and debate. A main claim in this chapter is that it is particularly
important not to equal green political consumption merely with
purchases of eco-labeled products and services. To follow such principles
of consumption or to have small ecological footprints due to smaller economic
resources, for example, are two very diff erent things, which should
both be of interest in debates about political consumerism.
- Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
- Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
- transition theory
Sociologist with a broad, human scientific interest in social, economic and evolutionary dimensions of environmental and health related problems.