Empowerment, waste and new consumption communities

Caroline Bekin, Marylyn Carrigan, Isabelle Szmigin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – This paper aims to explore the diverse and complementary resistance and waste-reduction practices adopted by UK-based New Consumption Communities, and whether such behaviours empower them to achieve their environmental and social goals.

Design/methodology/approach – The methodology can be broadly classified as critical ethnography, which acknowledges the researcher's own subjectivity, how the informants are treated and represented, and the study's wider context. A participant-observer role is employed and six distinct New Consumption Communities are explored.

Findings – It is suggested that through their resistance and empowerment, as well as a reconnection to production, the communities are able to implement alternatives to the wasteful practices of mainstream consumption behaviour, and achieve (partial) autonomy from the hegemonic forces of the market.

Originality/value – This paper's original perspective on waste is not limited to a small group of consumers, and thus should interest marketers and policy makers engaged in the advancement of sustainability and green marketing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-47
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Sociology and Social Policy
Issue number1/2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006


  • Consumers
  • Empowerment
  • Ethnography
  • Waste

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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