Ariadne's Thread

Environmental Studies at the University of Essex

Tag: Consumption


by ariadnesthread101

… said nobody, ever. 

So why do we BUY so much? And if we agree that we need to consume less, how do we go about changing our behaviour (and that of others, if we are feeling God-like today)?

Here’s a report by Tim Jackson of the University of Surrey on motivating sustainable consumption. This focuses on the psychological drivers and dynamics of consumption and how we can motivate more sustainable behavior. But it also recognizes that individuals don’t live in a psychological bubble:

” Changing behaviours – and in particular motivating more sustainable behaviours – is far from straightforward. Individual behaviours are deeply embedded in social and institutional contexts. We are guided as much by what others around us say and do, and by the ‘rules of the game’ as we are by personal choice. We often find ourselves ‘locked in’ to unsustainable behaviours in spite of our own best intentions.” 

In the UK, the Sustainable Consumption Institute at the University of Manchester explores the drivers and dynamics of consumption at the scale of the individual and beyond. Their website has a number of publications and updates on their work, and if this is a topic that interests you, you should keep your eye on them.

An open question, and a really important one, is how consumption patterns are developing in the ’emerging economies’ (India, China, Brazil and the so-called ‘CIVETS‘). How does this affect local, regional and global resources and resource management? Are the psychological and social dynamics the same across the world or are there important differences? (In short, is the study of ‘Sustainable Consumption’ currently too ‘Northcentric’? Is this is a problem considering that the emerging economies are really where consumer lifestyles are growing fast?)

To link this back and forward within the MEG: Can you see how this field relates to: (For example): World systems theory and Ecological Modernisation?

[Image: Eric Lewis]

Does owning an iPod make you happy?

by ariadnesthread101

Does owning an iPod make you happy?.

Here’s a blog post about a recent study published in the Journal of Consumer Behaviour.

The author of the blog post reports & analyses the key findings of the study and the implications for further research. You can read the post on two levels (that I know of)

1. To inform our encounters with the subject of Consumption in BS704.

2. To have an example of the kinds of things you can pick up on when analysing a study and writing about it.

Alternatively, I’ve just ‘primed’ you to switch off and go listen to music!

Unfortunately I can’t link to the study itself because the publishers’ website is having the weekend off.

And so should I 🙂

Happy Saturdaying!

– Zareen