Edited by Rob Harrison, Terry Newholm and Deirdre Shaw
Who are ethical consumers and why are they on the rise? Leading the way towards answering this question, The Ethical Consumer is an indispensable introduction to the subject. Exploring areas like boycotts and fair trade projects, it gathers together the diverse experiences of scholars, campaigners and business practitioners from the international community.
The chapters in this book explore:
- ethical consumer behaviours, motivation and narratives
- the social, political and theoretical contexts in which ethical consumers operate
- the responsibilities of businesses and the effectiveness of ethical consumer actions
Contributions are informed by a broad range of research methods, from case studies, focus groups to surveys and interviews.
The text is of interest to business related graduates, undergraduates and their tutors on courses relating to consumption. It will also be relevant to academics in other disciplines, as well as to politicians, producers, practitioners, campaigners and not least consumers.
G. Clark on Journal of Consumer Behaviour wrote:
"Consumer economics, affairs, theory, policy and consumer education will all benefit from this new book on ethical consumption. The home economics, human ecology and family and consumer sciences discipline should be unable to resist it. It provides welcome coverage of a new facet of consumer behaviour that has bloomed only in the last three decades. What with all of the attention being paid to corporate social responsibilities, this book on ethical consumers arrives at an opportune time. While consumers spend over two-thirds of all money spent in consumer society economies, they are not yet held accountable for their actions. Any insight into this phenomenon is welcome. This book brings valuable clarity to the complex phenomenon of eth-cal consumption in a consumer society – its hope, really!"
On the whole, this book will inform and provide a good deal of evidence and literature sources for the body of work on ethical consumption. It would be an excellent sourcebook for such a course. There are a few drawbacks in terms of content, namely the lack of analysis through the 'ethical' perspective and the paucity of coverage of business response. For example there is no clear analysis of the structure, typology or performance of purely ethical trading organisations, e.g. organic farms, retailers and fair trade companies. Given that this is an edited volume with contributions from authors, the continuity of style is good. The editors make a significant contribution to the content. The reviewer would recommend this book to those thinking of establishing a course on marketing ethics or similar, to academics interested in the subject and to academic and professional libraries which should have this as a reference on their shelves."
Table of Contents
- Introduction (Rob Harrison, Terry Newholm and Deirdre Shaw)
Part One: Theorizing Ethical Consumption
- Philosophy and Ethical Consumption (Clive Barnett, Philip Cafaro and Terry Newholm)
- The Consumer as Economic Voter (Roger A Dickinson and Mary L Carsky)
Part Two: Campaigners and Consumers
- A Brief History of Consumer Activism (Tim Lang and Yiannis Gabriel)
- Pressure Groups, Campaigns and Consumers (Rob Harrison)
- Informing Ethical Consumers (Hannah Berry and Morvern McEachern)
- The Effectiveness of Ethical Consumer Behaviour (Scott Clouder and Rob Harrison)
Part Three: Understanding Ethical Consumers
- Case Studying Ethical Consumers' Projects and Strategies (Terry Newholm)
- Using Existential-Phenomenological Interviewing to Explore Meanings of Consumption (Helene Cherrier)
- Modelling Consumer Decision Making in Fair Trade (Deirdre Shaw)
- Identifying and Profiling Apparel Label Users (Marsha A Dickson)
- Focus Group on Consumers' Ethical Beliefs (Barry Clavin and Alex Lewis)
- Surveying Ethical and Environmental Attitudes (Robert Worcester and Jenny Dawkins)
Part Four: Responding to Ethical Consumers
- Corporate Disclosure and Auditing (Carol A. Adams and Ambika Zutshi)
- Meeting the Ethical Gaze (Andrew Crane)