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Ethical Consumption: Social Value and Economic Practice

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Ethical Consumption

Social Value and Economic Practice

Edited by James G. Carrier and Peter G. Luetchford

246 pages, 3 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-0-85745-342-6 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (March 2012)

ISBN  978-1-78238-676-6 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (October 2014)

eISBN 978-0-85745-343-3 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“This edited volume brilliantly shows that ethical consumption is a process of socializing (and fetishizing) goods on the consumption side, as well as a process of economizing social values on the production side.”  ·  Sociologus

All of the case studies [presented] here are remarkable in terms of their analysis and ethnographic richness, providing a wonderfully nuanced picture of ethical consumption.  ·  American Ethnologist

This is a great volume that…brings together a very good set of chapters that consider ethical consumption in a broad and therefore most stimulating manner. Rooted in an ethnographic approach and located within an anthropological line of thought, this volume will nevertheless have wide appeal beyond this discipline, and will no doubt be of great interest to cultural and media studies scholars, geographers, development studies and other related disciplines.  ·  Geert de Neve, University of Sussex

This volume is a most timely contribution to a rapidly expanding literature in the social sciences. The editors are to be commended for assembling an interesting, well-written collection of essays.  ·  Mark Moberg, University of South Alabama


Increasingly, consumers in North America and Europe see their purchasing as a way to express to the commercial world their concerns about trade justice, the environment and similar issues. This ethical consumption has attracted growing attention in the press and among academics. Extending beyond the growing body of scholarly work on the topic in several ways, this volume focuses primarily on consumers rather than producers and commodity chains. It presents cases from a variety of European countries and is concerned with a wide range of objects and types of ethical consumption, not simply the usual tropical foodstuffs, trade justice and the system of fair trade. Contributors situate ethical consumption within different contexts, from common Western assumptions about economy and society, to the operation of ethical-consumption commerce, to the ways that people’s ethical consumption can affect and be affected by their social situation. By locating consumers and their practices in the social and economic contexts in which they exist and that their ethical consumption affects, this volume presents a compelling interrogation of the rhetoric and assumptions of ethical consumption.

James G. Carrier is a Hon. Research Associate at Oxford Brookes University and Adjunct Professor of Anthropology at the University of Indiana. He has taught anthropology and sociology, and carried out research, in Papua New Guinea, the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as studying environmental conservation in Jamaica. His publications include Gifts and Commodities (Routledge 1995), Meanings of the Market (ed., Berg 1997) and Virtualism, Governance and Practice (co-ed. with West, Berghahn 2009).

Peter G. Luetchford is Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Sussex and has carried out field research in Costa Rica and Spain. He has published on ethics and the economy, including Fair Trade and a Global Commodity: Coffee in Costa Rica (Pluto Press, 2008) and he is co-editor of Hidden Hands in the Market: Ethnographies of Fair Trade, Ethical Consumption and Corporate Social Responsibility (Research in Economic Anthropology 2008).

Subject: Anthropology (General)Political and Economic AnthropologySociology
Area: Europe


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