Mass-consumption as an activator of sustainable consumerist potentials

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


This chapter focuses on the relation between mass-consumption and sustainable consumption.
Mass-consumption concerns the omnipresent role of consumption in contemporary societies
with its problems of excessive resource use in current practices of consumption. The late
modern context and forces of mass-consumption can both trigger and prevent sustainable
consumption as well as shape its outcome. Through a literature review, both the examples of
alternative consumption (e.g. buycotts) and various kinds of anti-consumption, which involve
politically motivated ambitions to cut down on consumption, are addressed. The chapter
addresses different ways in how mass-consumption activates sustainable consumerist
potentials, including sentiments towards anti-consumption. It also shows how massconsumption
makes people unable to link consumption to political considerations, and enters
paths towards political anti-consumerism or realise their ambitions. Finally, the chapter
analyses possibilities and difficulties transforming niche sustainable consumerist initiatives to
the mainstream in a society dominated by mass consumption.


External organisations
  • Örebro University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Sociology
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
Publication statusUnpublished - 2018 Jun 11
Publication categoryResearch
Event9th International Sustainability Transitions Conference - The University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 2018 Jun 122019 Jun 14


Conference9th International Sustainability Transitions Conference
Abbreviated titleIST 2018
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address

Bibliographic note

Paper presented at IST-2018, the 9th International Sustainability Transitions Conference, Manchester 11-14 June 2018