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Anti-consumption and identity: How the rejection of consumption can be identity-constructing
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The choice of anti-consumerism can be driven by both material and idealistic interests and just as for consumption, anti-consumption can be used in the construction of the individual’s identity. Only a few previous studies have looked at the connection between different identities in relation to anti-consumption (such as Cherrier, 2009) and even fewer looked at both the individuals’ perception of the process of becoming an anti-consumer as well as how anti-consumption can be used to build one’s identity. The study at hand aims to build on this by investigating the individual’s approach and perception to anti-consumerism, the process of becoming an anti-consumerist and how identity can be constructed through anti-consumerism. This is done through interviews with ten informants who have rejected consumption in various major aspects and the resulting empirical material is analyzed in the light of theoretical contributions as well as relevant previous research in areas of anti-consumption, identity, identity-construction and neoliberalism. Through this, the study contributes to an enhanced understanding of the different paths towards anti-consumerism, as well as how anticonsumerism can be used to build one’s identity. The results show that the process of becoming an anti-consumer may be due to numerous reasons, including social and moral valuation of the environment, external or cultural pressure and their will to change themselves or for saving money. The study further finds that the informants perceived difficulties when becoming an anti-consumer, such as managing their environmental reactions and dilemma to deliberately abandon normative forms in society. In addition, it is found that the informants perceive a connection of anti-consumption with their personality as well as a sense of identity. How this is expressed by the informants are presented as their aspiration to change the surroundings, how they wanted to express anti-consumption to others, their desire for increased control and how they experienced inner change in relation to anti-consumption

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 51
Keywords [en]
Anti-consumption, consumption, neoliberalism, identity, identity-construction
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-403687OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-403687DiVA, id: diva2:1390652
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Available from: 2020-02-14 Created: 2020-02-02 Last updated: 2020-02-14Bibliographically approved

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Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)

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