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(searched for: doi:10.1007/s11609-016-0312-4)
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Published: 3 October 2021
by MDPI
Journal: Sustainability
Sustainability, Volume 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/su131910997

Abstract:
Social scientists have argued that ethical consumption is embedded into broader lifestyles running across various domains of social life. For instance, fair trade consumption might be part of a distinctive lifestyle, including behaviors such as going to fancy restaurants or the opera. We, therefore, investigate the relationships of the main dimensions of broader lifestyles to various aspects of fair trade consumption—from purchase frequency, to visiting specialized stores, to the identification with fair trade. The analysis relies on data collected in the Summer of 2011 in Zurich, Switzerland. Since per capita consumption of fair trade products in this country was on a comparatively high level, the results are also important for other societies experiencing only currently the mainstreaming of fair trade. The first dimension, distinctiveness of lifestyles, denoting orientations and behaviors with high social prestige in society, emerges as a substantial and important determinant of all included aspects of fair trade consumption. The second dimension, modernity, is only correlated with a subset of these aspects. These effects are robust, even when taking ethical and political orientations and resource endowment into account. Hence, differences between lifestyle groups do not simply reflect the social position of high-status consumers or their ethical and political views. They reflect orientations, mental representations and routines specific to these social groups. Broader lifestyles are, therefore, a relevant addition to explanations of fair trade consumption.
, Annika Sohre, Melanie Ströbel
Published: 28 April 2020
Journal of Sustainable Tourism, Volume 28, pp 1519-1550; https://doi.org/10.1080/09669582.2020.1745214

Abstract:
From labels to carbon offsets, various interventions to reduce emissions from air travel have been discussed. If implemented, their effects have been negligible. This is exacerbated by ever-increasing numbers of air travellers. This paper argues that patterns of air travel behaviour are extremely diverse and that empirical findings for predictors are very mixed. Research also points to promising multi-dimensional constructs, which might explain the diverse patterns of air travel. This paper has three aims: (1) investigate the explanatory power of multi-dimensional factors, namely quality of life preferences, lifestyles and geographical context; (2) in addition to norms, values and perceived behavioural control; (3) all in relation to diverse travel patterns, flyers/non-flyers, for short/middle- and long-distance personal air travel. We control for socio-demographic factors. We estimate zero-inflated Poisson regression models, utilising data from 4235 Swiss participants collected in 2017. For short/middle-distance personal air travel, lifestyle, geographical context, personal norms, values, age and income are significant predictors. In contrast, long-distance personal air travel is explained by quality of life preferences and gender. These different explanatory patterns for short/middle- vs. long-distance flights highlight the need to differentiate interventions and trigger points to govern air travel behaviour.
Published: 11 January 2019
Journal of Consumer Policy, Volume 42, pp 397-423; https://doi.org/10.1007/s10603-018-9401-4

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Published: 24 October 2018
by MDPI
Journal: Sustainability
Sustainability, Volume 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10113858

Abstract:
Reducing the consumption of meat can make a significant contribution to sustainable development. However, at least in Western societies with their already rather high levels of per-capita meat consumption, only a minority of consumers reduces meat intake by following a vegetarian or plant-based diet. To arrive at a differentiated understanding of the conditions of meat avoidance, we empirically assess the importance of a broad set of specific motivations and constraints previously discussed in the literature, including specific benefits, particular constraints, social norms, and a vegetarian self-identity. The analysis is based on a random sample of students at the university of Zurich (Switzerland)—a social group exhibiting a rather high prevalence of plant-based diets and vegetarianism. Researching this young and educated population sheds light on the motivational underpinnings of consumer segments especially willing to reduce meat intake. Data were collected in November and December 2016. We found that a vegetarian self-identity, both injunctive and descriptive social norms, and convenience are the most important direct determinants of meat avoidance among this young and highly educated consumer segment. Furthermore, the results suggest that a vegetarian self-identity mediates the effects of ethical, health-related, and environmental benefits, taste as a constraint and partially the injunctive norm. Pecuniary costs of a vegetarian diet are not significantly correlated with meat avoidance.
Jörg Rössel, Patrick Henri Schenk
Published: 16 August 2017
Journal: Social Problems
Social Problems, Volume 65, pp 266-284; https://doi.org/10.1093/socpro/spx022

Abstract:
Political consumption is a flourishing field of research at the intersection of consumer research and political sociology. Political consumption means the consideration of ethical or political motives in the decision to buy certain products. Its main forms are the buying (buycott) of products distinguished by certain ethical or political characteristics such as sustainability, social justice, or corporate responsibility, and the boycott of products that lack such characteristics. However, there is an ongoing discussion about the status of political consumption. Some authors suspect that it may distract citizens from more challenging forms of participation (crowding-out thesis). In contrast, most empirical research has shown that political consumers are also more active than the general population in other forms of political participation. However, this has only been shown for fairly general measures of political consumption and participation. Our contribution to this debate thus focuses on one specific form of political consumption and corresponding forms of participation: activism for the Global South and fair trade consumption, zooming in on the case of Switzerland, where fair trade consumption is quite widespread within the population. Our results show that fair trade consumption is only weakly related to other forms of engagement for Global South issues, thus it does not distract from more challenging forms of engagement, but it is also not part of a more general engaged lifestyle. This is supported by the fact that the motivations and structural underpinnings of other forms of activism for the Global South differ from those of fair trade consumption.
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