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Citizen-Consumers as Agents of Change in Globalizing Modernity: The Case of Sustainable Consumption
Environmental Policy Group, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 8130, Hollandseweg 1, 6706 KN Wageningen, The Netherlands
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Received: 21 May 2010; in revised form: 31 May 2010 / Accepted: 4 June 2010 / Published: 30 June 2010
Abstract: The roles that individuals can adopt, or get assigned, in processes of global environmental change, can be analyzed with the help of three ideal-type forms of commitment: as environmental citizens, as political consumers, and as individual moral agents. We offer a discussion of the three roles in the context of sustainability changes in everyday life practices of consumption. Sociological accounts of (sustainability) transitions are discussed with respect to their treatment of the concept of agency vis à vis the objects, technologies, and infrastructures implied in globalizing consumption practices. Using consumption practices as basic units of analysis helps to avoid individualist and privatized accounts of the role of citizen-consumers in environmental change, while making possible a comprehensive analysis of the relationship between the personal and the planetary in the process of greening everyday life consumption.
Keywords: citizen-consumers; social practices; sustainable consumption; lifestyle-politics; globalization
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Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
Spaargaren, G.; Oosterveer, P. Citizen-Consumers as Agents of Change in Globalizing Modernity: The Case of Sustainable Consumption. Sustainability 2010, 2, 1887-1908.
Spaargaren G, Oosterveer P. Citizen-Consumers as Agents of Change in Globalizing Modernity: The Case of Sustainable Consumption. Sustainability. 2010; 2(7):1887-1908.
Spaargaren, Gert; Oosterveer, Peter. 2010. "Citizen-Consumers as Agents of Change in Globalizing Modernity: The Case of Sustainable Consumption." Sustainability 2, no. 7: 1887-1908.