Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Consumption Practices: A Virtue Ethics Approach

  • Pablo Garcia-Ruiz (a1) and Carlos Rodriguez-Lluesma (a2)
Abstract:

Ethical research on consumption has focused mainly on the obligations, principles and values guiding consumers' actions and reasons for action. In doing so, it has concerned itself mostly with such bounded contexts as voluntary simplifiers, anti-consumption movements or so-called ‘ethical consumers,’ thereby fostering an artificial opposition between ethical and non-ethical consumption. This paper proposes virtue ethics as a more apt conceptual framework for the ethical analysis of consumption because it takes into account the developmental dynamic triggered by engagement in consumption practices. We build on MacIntyre's goods-virtues-practices-institutions framework and Beabout's concept of a domain-relative practice and argue that when engaging in consumption activities, agents may pursue goods internal to practices, further their individual life narratives and contribute to the good of their communities, thus developing virtues that perfect themselves both as consumers and as ethical agents.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Consumption Practices: A Virtue Ethics Approach
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Consumption Practices: A Virtue Ethics Approach
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Consumption Practices: A Virtue Ethics Approach
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
References
Hide All
Adams, M. & Raisborough, J. 2010. Making a difference: Ethical consumption and the everyday. The British Journal of Sociology, 61(2): 256–74. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-4446.2010.01312.x
Ahuvia, A.C. 2005. Beyond the extended self: Loved objects and consumers’ identity narratives. Journal of Consumer Research, 32(1): 171–84. http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/429607
Albers-Miller, N.D. 1999. Consumer misbehavior: Why people buy illicit goods. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 16(3): 273–87. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/07363769910271504
Alexander, S., & Ussher, S. 2012. The voluntary simplicity movement: A multi-national survey analysis in theoretical context. Journal of Consumer Culture, 12(1): 6686. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1469540512444019
Anscombe, G.E. 1958. Modern moral philosophy. Philosophy, 33(124): 119. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0031819100037943
Aranzadi, J. 2011. The possibilities of the acting person within an institutional framework: Goods, norms, and virtues. Journal of Business Ethics, 99(1): 87100. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10551-011-0751-y
Aristotle, . 2001. Nicomachean Ethics. In McKeon, R. (Ed.), The basic works of Aristotle: 9351125. New York: Randon House.
Arnould, E.J. 2006. Consumer culture theory: Retrospect and prospect. European Advances in Consumer Research, 7(1): 605–07.
Arnould, E.J., & Thompson, C.J. 2005. Consumer culture theory (CCT): Twenty years of research. Journal of Consumer Research, 31(4): 868–82. http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/426626
Audi, R. 2012. Virtue ethics as a resource in business. Business Ethics Quarterly, 22(2): 273–91. http://dx.doi.org/10.5840/beq201222220
Barber, B.R. 2008. Consumed: How markets corrupt children, infantilize adults, and swallow citizens whole. New York: W. W. Norton and Company.
Barnett, C., Cafaro, P., & Newholm, T. 2005. Philosophy and ethical consumption. In Harrison, R.Newholm, T. & Shaw, D. (Eds.), The ethical consumer: 1124. London: Sage.
Barnett, C., Cloke, P., Clark, N., & Malpass, A. 2005. Consuming ethics: Articulating the subjects and spaces of ethical consumption. Antipode, 37(1): 2345. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0066-4812.2005.00472.x
Barrientos, S., & Smith, S. 2007. Do workers benefit from ethical trade? Assessing codes of labour practice in global production systems. Third World Quarterly, 28(4): 713–29. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01436590701336580
Beabout, G.R. 2012. Management as a domain-relative practice that requires and develops practical wisdom. Business Ethics Quarterly, 22(2): 405–32. http://dx.doi.org/10.5840/beq201222214
Beadle, R. 2013. Managerial work in a practice-embodying institution: The role of calling, the virtue of constancy. Journal of Business Ethics, 113(4): 679–90. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10551-013-1678-2
Beadle, R., & Moore, G. 2006. MacIntyre on virtue and organization. Organization Studies, 27(3): 323–40. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0170840606062425
Beadle, R., & Moore, G. 2011. MacIntyre, neo-Aristotelianism and organization theory. Research in the Sociology of Organisations, 32: 85121. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/S0733-558X(2011)0000032006
Belk, R.W. 1988. Possessions and the extended self. Journal of Consumer Research, 15 (September): 139–68. http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/209154
Belk, R.W., & Pollay, R.W. 1985. Images of ourselves: The good life in twentieth century advertising. Journal of Consumer Research, 11 (March): 887–97. http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/209024
Black, I.R., & Cherrier, H. 2010. Anti-consumption as part of living a sustainable lifestyle: Daily practices, contextual motivations and subjective values. Journal of Consumer Behavior, 9(6): 437–53. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cb.337
Bright, D.S., Winn, B.A., & Kanov, J. 2014. Reconsidering virtue: Differences of perspective in virtue ethics and the positive social sciences. Journal of Business Ethics, 119(4): 445–60. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10551-013-1832-x
Brinkmann, J., & Peattie, K. 2008. Consumer ethics research: Reframing the debate about consumption for good. EJBO Electronic Journal of Business Ethics and Organizational Studies, 13(1): 2231.
Caruana, R. 2007. Morality and consumption: Towards a multidisciplinary perspective. Journal of Marketing Management, 23(3–4): 207–25. http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/026725707X196341
Caruana, R., & Chatzidakis, A. 2013. Consumer social responsibility (cnsr): Toward a multi-level, multi-agent conceptualization of the “other csr.” Journal of Business Ethics, 113(4): 116.
Chatzidakis, A., Hibbert, S., Mittusis, D., & Smith, A. 2004. Virtue in consumption? Journal of Marketing Management, 20(5–6): 526–43. http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/0267257041323972
Cherrier, H., & Murray, J.B. 2007. Reflexive dispossession and the self: Constructing a processual theory of identity. Consumption, Markets & Culture, 10(1): 129. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10253860601116452
Cho, S., & Krasser, A.H. 2011. What makes us care? The impact of cultural values, individual factors, and attention to media content on motivation for ethical consumerism. International Social Science Review, 86(1–2): 323.
Cohen, M.J., & Murphy, J. 2001. Exploring sustainable consumption: Environmental policy and the social sciences. Oxford: Elsevier.
Craig-Lees, M., & Hill, C. 2002. Understanding voluntary simplifiers. Psychology and Marketing, 1(2): 187210. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mar.10009
Douglas, M., & Isherwood, B.C. 1979. The world of goods: Towards an anthropology of consumption. London: Basic Books.
Elgin, D. 2010. Voluntary simplicity: Toward a way of life that is outwardly simple, inwardly rich. New York: Harper.
Etzioni, A. 1998. Voluntary simplicity characterization, select psychological implications, and societal consequences. Journal of Economic Psychology, 19: 619–43.
Ferrero, I. & Sison, A.G. Forthcoming. A quantitative analysis of authors, schools and themes in virtue ethics articles in business ethics and management journals (1980–2011). Business Ethics: A European Review.
Fournier, S.J. 2000. Building brand community on the Harley-Davidson posse ride. Case ref. 9-501-015. Harvard Business School Publishing.
Friedman, J. 1994. Consumption and identity. London: Routledge.
Fukukawa, K. 2003. A theoretical review of business and consumer ethics research: Normative and descriptive approaches. The Marketing Review, 3:381401. http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/146934703771910035
Fullerton, S., Kerch, K.B., & Dodge, H.R. 1996. Consumer ethics: An assessment of individual behavior in the marketplace. Journal of Business Ethics, 15(7): 805–14. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00381744
Gambrel, J.C., & Cafaro, P. 2010. The virtue of simplicity. Journal of Agricultural and Envi-ronmental Ethics, 23(1–2): 85108. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10806-009-9187-0
Grigsby, M. 2004. Buying time and getting by: The voluntary simplicity movement. New York: State University of New York Press.
Harrison, R., Newholm, T., & Shaw, D. (Eds.). 2005. The ethical consumer. London: Sage.
Hochschild, A. 2012. The second shift: Working families and the revolution at home. New York: Penguin.
Humphery, K. 2010. Excess: Anti-consumerism in the west. London: Polity Press.
Hursthouse, R. 1999. On virtue ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Johnson, B. 2004. Review essay: Simply identity work? The voluntary simplicity movement. Qualitative Sociology, 27(4): 527–30. http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/B:QUAS.0000049267.29699.d9
Keat, R. 2000. Cultural goods and the limits of the market. London: Palgrave. http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/9780230595767
Keat, R. 2008. Practices, firms and varieties of capitalism. Philosophy of Management, 7(1): 7791. http://dx.doi.org/10.5840/pom2008718
Koehn, D. 2000. What is practical judgment? Professional Ethics Journal, 8(3–4): 318. http://dx.doi.org/10.5840/profethics200083/420
Kopytoff, I. 1986. The cultural biography of things. In Appadurai, A. (Ed.), The social life of things : 6491. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kornberger, M. 2010. Brand society: How brands transform management and lifestyle. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511802881
Kozinets, R.V., & Handelman, J. 1998. Ensouling consumption: A netnographic exploration of the meaning of boycotting behavior. Advances in Consumer Research, 25(1): 475–80.
Lepper, M.R., Greene, D., & Nisbett, R.E. 1973. Undermining children’s intrinsic interest with extrinsic reward: A test of the “Overjustification” hypothesis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 28: 129–37. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/h0035519
Lorenzen, J.A. 2012. Going green: The process of lifestyle change. Sociological Forum, 27: 94116. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1573-7861.2011.01303.x
Luedicke, M.K., Thompson, C.J., & Giesler, M. 2010. Consumer identity work as moral protagonism: How myth and ideology animate a brand-mediated moral conflict. Journal of Consumer Research, 36 (April): 1016–32. http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/644761
MacIntyre, A. 1992. Plain persons and moral philosophy. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, 66(1): 319. http://dx.doi.org/10.5840/acpq199266144
MacIntyre, A. 1994. A partial response to my critics. In Horton, J. & Mendus, S. (Eds.), After MacIntyre: Critical perspectives on the work of Alasdair MacIntyre: 283304. Cambridge: Polity Press.
MacIntyre, A. 1999. Dependent rational animals: Why human beings need the virtues. Chicago: Open Court.
MacIntyre, A. 2007. After virtue: A study in moral theory. London: Duckworth.
MacIntyre, A., & Dunne, J. 2002. Alasdair MacIntyre on education: In dialogue with Joseph Dunne. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 36(1): 119. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9752.00256
Marion, G., & Nairn, A. 2011. “We make the shoes, you make the story.” Teenage girls’ experience of fashion: Bricolage, tactics and narrative identity. Consumption, Markets & Culture, 14(1): 2956. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10253866.2011.541181
Mayo, M.A., & Marks, L.J. 1990. An empirical investigation of a general theory of marketing ethics. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 18(2): 163–71. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF02726432
McAlexander, J.H., Schouten, J.W., & Koenig, H.F. 2002. Building brand community. The Journal of Marketing, 66 (January): 3854. http://dx.doi.org/10.1509/jmkg.66.1.38.18451
Melé, D. 2009. Integrating personalism into virtue-based business ethics: The personal-ist and the common good principles. Journal of Business Ethics, 88(1): 227–44. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10551-009-0108-y
Micheletti, M., & Stolle, D. 2008. Fashioning social justice through political consumerism, capitalism, and the internet. Cultural Studies, 22(5): 749–69. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09502380802246009
Miller, D. 1998. A theory of shopping. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Miller, D. 2001. The dialectics of shopping. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Moore, G. 2004. The Fair Trade movement: Parameters, issues and future research. Journal of Business Ethics, 53(1–2): 7386. http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/B:BUSI.0000039400.57827.c3
Moore, G. 2005a. Corporate character: Modern virtue ethics and the virtuous corporation. Business Ethics Quarterly, 15(4): 659–85. http://dx.doi.org/10.5840/beq200515446
Moore, G. 2005b. Humanizing business: A modern virtue ethics approach. Business Ethis Quarterly, 15(2): 237–55. http://dx.doi.org/10.5840/beq200515212
Muncy, J.A., & Vitell, S.J. 1992. Consumer ethics: An investigation of the ethical beliefs of the final consumer. Journal of Business Research, 24(4): 297311. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0148-2963(92)90036-B
Muniz, A.M., & O’Guinn, T.C. 2001. Brand community. Journal of Consumer Research, 27 (March): 412–32. http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/319618
Murray, J.B. 2002. The politics of consumption: A re-inquiry on Thompson and Haytko’s (1997) “Speaking of Fashion.” Journal of Consumer Research, 29(3): 427–40. http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/344424
Pettit, P. 1991. Consequentialism. In Singer, P. (Ed.), A companion to ethics: 230–40. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
Ritzer, G. 2001. Explorations in the sociology of consumption: Fast food, credit cards and casinos. London: Sage.
Roberts, A. 1998. Three exceptional figures. The UNESCO Courier, January: 15–16.
Röcklinsberg, H., & Sandin, P. 2013. The ethics of consumption: The citizen, the market, and the law. Wageningen: Academic Publishers. http://dx.doi.org/10.3920/978-90-8686-784-4
Sassatelli, R. 2007. Consumer culture. London: Sage.
Sayer, A.R. 2003. (De-)Commodification, consumer culture and moral economy. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 21(3): 341–57. http://dx.doi.org/10.1068/d353
Schlegelmilch, B.B., & Òberseder, M. 2010. Half a century of marketing ethics: Shifting perspectives and emerging trends. Journal of Business Ethics, 93(1): 119. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10551-009-0182-1
Schor, J. 1992. The overworked American. New York: Basic Books.
Schor, J. 1999. The overspent American. New York: Harper.
Segal, J.M. 1999. Graceful simplicity: Toward a philosophy and politics of simple living. London: Living, H. Holt and Co.
Shaw, D., & Newholm, T. 2002. Voluntary simplicity and the ethics of consumption. Psychology and Marketing, 19(2): 167–85. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mar.10008
Shaw, D., & Shiu, E. 2002. An assessment of ethical obligation and self-identity in ethical consumer decision-making: A structural equation modeling approach. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 26: 286–93. http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1470-6431.2002.00255.x
Shaw, D., Shiu, E., & Clarke, I. 2000. The contribution of ethical obligation and self-identity to the theory of planned behavior: An exploration of ethical consumers. Journal of Marketing Management, 16(8): 879–94. http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/026725700784683672
Sison, A.G., & Fontrodona, J. 2012. The common good of the firm in the Aristotelian-Thomistic tradition. Business Ethics Quarterly, 22(2): 211–46. http://dx.doi.org/10.5840/beq201222218
Sklair, L. 2002. Globalization: Capitalism and its alternatives. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Steele, C.M. 1988. The psychology of self-affirmation: Sustaining the integrity of the self. In Berkowitz, L. (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology, vol. 21: 261302. New York: Academic Press.
Swaidan, Z. 2012. Culture and consumer ethics. Journal of Business Ethics, 108(2): 113. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10551-011-1070-z
Swanton, C. 2003. Virtue ethics: A pluralistic view. Oxford: Oxford University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199253889.001.0001
Thompson, C.J. 1996. Caring consumers: Gendered consumption meanings and the juggling lifestyle. Journal of Consumer Research, 22 (March): 388407. http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/209457
Thompson, C.J., & Haytko, D.L. 1997. Speaking of fashion: Consumers’ uses of fashion discourses and the appropriation of countervailing cultural meanings. Journal of Consumer Research, 24(1): 1542. http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/209491
Tseëlon, E. 2011. Introduction: A critique of the ethical fashion paradigm. Critical Studies in Fashion & Beauty, 2: 368. http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/csfb.2.1-2.3_2
Vitell, S.J. 2003. Consumer ethics research: Reviews, synthesis and suggestions for the future. Journal of Business Ethics, 43(1–2): 3347. http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1022907014295
Vitell, S.J., & Hunt, S.D. 1990. The general theory of marketing ethics: A partial test of the model. Research in Marketing, 10: 237–65.
Vitell, S.J., & Muncy, J., 1992. Consumer ethics: An empirical investigation of factors influencing ethical judgments of the final consumer. Journal of Business Ethics, 11(8): 585–97. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00872270
Vitell, S.J., Singhapakdi, A., & Thomas, J. 2001. Consumer ethics: An application and empirical testing of the Hunt-Vitell theory of ethics. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 18(2): 153–78. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/07363760110386018
von Krogh, G., Haefliger, S., Spaeth, S., & Wallin, M.W. 2012. Carrots and rainbows: Motivation and social practice in open software source development. MIS Quarterly, 36(2): 649–76.
Warde, A. 2005. Consumption and theories of practice. Journal of Consumer Culture, 5(2): 131–53. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1469540505053090
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Business Ethics Quarterly
  • ISSN: 1052-150X
  • EISSN: 2153-3326
  • URL: /core/journals/business-ethics-quarterly
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score