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Sustainability 2010, 2(8), 2573-2592; doi:10.3390/su2082573

The Role of Formal and Informal Forces in Shaping Consumption and Implications for Sustainable Society: Part II

Copenhagen Resource Institute, Højbro Plads 4, DK-1200 Copenhagen, Denmark
The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics, Lund University, P.O. Box 196, Tegnersplatsen 4, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 July 2010 / Accepted: 9 August 2010 / Published: 10 August 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Consumption)
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Looking at consumption from a societal perspective, we can see that purchasing and behavior decisions are influenced by many factors, not the least which are what the people around us and in the media are doing. Other factors include economic influences, the marketing of products and technological innovations, and regulations governing consumption. This article, Part II, argues that in order to understand consumption, we need to move beyond the dominant (economic) understanding of consumers and consumer behavior, and think about the origins of our preferences, needs, and desires. A thorough understanding of consumption is informed by the contributions of sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, and behavioral scientists, who study the socio-cultural, social, and psychological contexts in which consumer behavior is embedded. These disciplines offer rich and complex explanations of human behavior, which in turn illuminate the discussion on how consumer behavior can be made more sustainable.
Keywords: socio-cultural factors; psychological contexts; consumption behavior socio-cultural factors; psychological contexts; consumption behavior
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Power, K.; Mont, O. The Role of Formal and Informal Forces in Shaping Consumption and Implications for Sustainable Society: Part II. Sustainability 2010, 2, 2573-2592.

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