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Exploring Sustainable Consumption: Environmental Policy and the Social Sciences

Product Details
01 Sep 2001
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
262 pages - 165 x 240 x 16mm


Consumption and lifestyles in the world's richest countries are a significant cause of global environmental problems. Consumerism is increasingly recognized as a major drain on global resources and the search for sustainable consumption is emerging as a key policy issue. In this text, Joseph Murphy and Maurie Cohen have brought together an internationally recognized group of authors who critically examine this key area of policy debate. Through papers by Jouni Paavola, David Goodman, Michael Redclift, Elizabeth Shove and other authors, "Exploring Sustainable Consumption" addresses issues including food and water consumption, green consumerism, the consumption of space, the role of technology and the pursuit of sustainable lifestyles. It criticizes naive proposals that emphasize technological optimism and a limited understanding of consumption practices. The authors locate sustainable consumption within the history of debates about the environmental impact of modern societies and examine how governments and others are approaching this issue. Each contributor examines consumption-environment relationships from his or her own disciplinary perspective. This literature is then used to outline approaches to policy and action.
Table of contents. List of figures. List of tables. List of contributors. Preface. Introduction. Consumption, environment and public policy (J. Murphy, M. Cohen). The Politics of Sustainable Consumption. The emerging international policy discourse on sustainable consumption (M. Cohen). Sustainable consumption and environmental policy in the European Union (J. Murphy). Values, Ethics and Sustainable Consumption. Liberal neutrality and consumption: the dispute over fur (M. Oksanen). Economics, ethics and green consumerism (J. Paavola). Place, Space and Networks: Geographies of Sustainable Consumption. Sustaining foods: organic consumption and the socio-ecological imaginary (D. Goodman, M. Goodman). Changing nature: the consumption of space and the construction of nature on the 'Mayan Riviera' (M. Redclift). Sustainable Consumption: Technology, Culture and People. Working for beans and refrigerators: learning about environmental policy from Mexican northern-border consumers (J. Heyman). Control and flow: rethinking the sociology, technology and politics of water consumption (H. Chappells et al.). Identity, Behaviour and Lifestyle: the Social Psychology of Sustainable Consumption. Environmental concern and anti-consumerism in the self-concept: do they share the same basis? (S. Zavestoski). Sustainable lifestyles: rethinking barriers and behaviour change (K. Hobson). Conclusion: Working Toward Sustainable Consumption. Sustainable consumption by design (K. Fletcher et al.). Sustainable consumption: environmental policy and the social sciences (J. Murphy, M. Cohen). Index.

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