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 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).
List of figures Preface Introduction James G. Carrier Section I: Producers and Consumers Section Introduction Chapter 1. Good chocolate? An examination of ethical consumption in cocoa Amanda Berlan Chapter 2. Consuming producers: fair trade and small farmers Peter G. Luetchford Chapter 3. 'Trade, not aid': imagining ethical economy Lill Vramo Chapter 4. 'Today, one can farm organic without living organic': Belgian farmers and recent changes in organic farming Audrey Vankeerberghen Section II: Ethical Consumption Contexts Section Introduction Chapter 5. Narratives of concern: beyond the 'official' discourse of ethical consumption in Hungary Tamas Dombos Chapter 6. Critical consumption in Palermo: imagined society, class and fractured locality Giovanni Orlando Chapter 7. On the challenges of signalling ethics without the stuff: tales of conspicuous green anti-consumption Cindy Isenhour Chapter 8. Ethical consumption as religious testimony: The Quaker case Peter Collins Chapter 9. Re-inventing food: the ethics of developing local food Cristina Grasseni Conclusion James G. Carrier and Richard Wilk About the contributors Bibliography Index