Sovereign dupes? Representations, conventions and (un)sustainable consumption

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskriftPeer review


If resource intensive practices are regularly represented as conventional, these potentially become naturalised and inconspicuous consumption will increase. Understanding how representations, conventions and everyday practices interact is thus fundamental in tackling unsustainable consumption. To gain new insights into how representations, conventions and practices interact, this paper explores how people respond to cleanliness representations in Swedish media. Cleanliness is chosen as a case for its role in accelerating water and energy consumption (Shove, 2003), and Sweden where cleanliness activities are in line with upward trends (Jack, 2017). Focus-group participants read magazines, discuss content and how it relates to their lives. Cleanliness is perceived as being intertwined with a host of co-conventions such as freshness, health, femininity, masculinity, sustainability, et cetera. Participants have strategies to receive and resist representations, and are especially averse to representations that they suspect are meant to increase consumerism. Dilemmas for participants do not arise from deciding when or how to receive or resist representations. The real dilemmas arise when integrating meanings into everyday life practices given the multiplicity of meanings. Participants see conventions as influencing wider society, but see themselves as individuals critically interacting with representations, a sovereign dupe 1 juxtaposition.

Sidor (från-till)331-358
TidskriftJournal of Consumer Culture
Tidigt onlinedatum2020 juli 7
StatusPublished - 2022

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Sociologi (exklusive socialt arbete, socialpsykologi och socialantropologi)


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