Ethical Consumption. Social Value and Economic Practice.

Publisher’s web site

Edited by James G. Carrier, Peter G. Luetchford, Bergham 21, New York, Oxford, October 2014

Increasingly, consumers in North America and Europe see their purchasing as a way to express to the commercial world their concerns about trade justice, the environment and similar issues. This ethical consumption has attracted growing attention in the press and among academics. Extending beyond the growing body of scholarly work on the topic in several ways, this volume focuses primarily on consumers rather than producers and commodity chains. It presents cases from a variety of European countries and is concerned with a wide range of objects and types of ethical consumption, not simply the usual tropical foodstuffs, trade justice and the system of fair trade. Contributors situate ethical consumption within different contexts, from common Western assumptions about economy and society, to the operation of ethical-consumption commerce, to the ways that people’s ethical consumption can affect and be affected by their social situation. By locating consumers and their practices in the social and economic contexts in which they exist and that their ethical consumption affects, this volume presents a compelling interrogation of the rhetoric and assumptions of ethical consumption.


List of figures



James G. Carrier

Section I: Producers and Consumers

Section Introduction

Chapter 1. Good chocolate? An examination of ethical consumption in cocoa

Amanda Berlan

Chapter 2. Consuming producers: fair trade and small farmers

Peter G. Luetchford

Chapter 3. ‘Trade, not aid’: imagining ethical economy

Lill Vramo

Chapter 4. ‘Today, one can farm organic without living organic’: Belgian farmers and recent changes in organic farming

Audrey Vankeerberghen

Section II: Ethical Consumption Contexts

Section Introduction

Chapter 5. Narratives of concern: beyond the ‘official’ discourse of ethical consumption in Hungary

Tamás Dombos

Chapter 6. Critical consumption in Palermo: imagined society, class and fractured locality

Giovanni Orlando

Chapter 7. On the challenges of signalling ethics without the stuff: tales of conspicuous green anti-consumption

Cindy Isenhour

Chapter 8. Ethical consumption as religious testimony: The Quaker case

Peter Collins

Chapter 9. Re-inventing food: the ethics of developing local food

Cristina Grasseni


James G. Carrier and Richard Wilk