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It’s All about Distinction: The Lifestyle Embeddedness of Fair Trade Consumption

1
Department of Sociology, University of Lucerne, 6002 Lucerne, Switzerland
2
Department of Sociology, University of Zurich, 8050 Zurich, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Sustainability 2021, 13(19), 10997; https://doi.org/10.3390/su131910997
Received: 28 June 2021 / Revised: 10 August 2021 / Accepted: 28 September 2021 / Published: 3 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fair Trade and Sustainable Consumption)
Social scientists have argued that ethical consumption is embedded into broader lifestyles running across various domains of social life. For instance, fair trade consumption might be part of a distinctive lifestyle, including behaviors such as going to fancy restaurants or the opera. We, therefore, investigate the relationships of the main dimensions of broader lifestyles to various aspects of fair trade consumption—from purchase frequency, to visiting specialized stores, to the identification with fair trade. The analysis relies on data collected in the Summer of 2011 in Zurich, Switzerland. Since per capita consumption of fair trade products in this country was on a comparatively high level, the results are also important for other societies experiencing only currently the mainstreaming of fair trade. The first dimension, distinctiveness of lifestyles, denoting orientations and behaviors with high social prestige in society, emerges as a substantial and important determinant of all included aspects of fair trade consumption. The second dimension, modernity, is only correlated with a subset of these aspects. These effects are robust, even when taking ethical and political orientations and resource endowment into account. Hence, differences between lifestyle groups do not simply reflect the social position of high-status consumers or their ethical and political views. They reflect orientations, mental representations and routines specific to these social groups. Broader lifestyles are, therefore, a relevant addition to explanations of fair trade consumption. View Full-Text
Keywords: lifestyle analysis; broader lifestyles; distinction; modernity; social status; buying behavior; distribution channels; motivations; identity; routine lifestyle analysis; broader lifestyles; distinction; modernity; social status; buying behavior; distribution channels; motivations; identity; routine
MDPI and ACS Style

Schenk, P.; Rössel, J.; Weingartner, S. It’s All about Distinction: The Lifestyle Embeddedness of Fair Trade Consumption. Sustainability 2021, 13, 10997. https://doi.org/10.3390/su131910997

AMA Style

Schenk P, Rössel J, Weingartner S. It’s All about Distinction: The Lifestyle Embeddedness of Fair Trade Consumption. Sustainability. 2021; 13(19):10997. https://doi.org/10.3390/su131910997

Chicago/Turabian Style

Schenk, Patrick, Jörg Rössel, and Sebastian Weingartner. 2021. "It’s All about Distinction: The Lifestyle Embeddedness of Fair Trade Consumption" Sustainability 13, no. 19: 10997. https://doi.org/10.3390/su131910997

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