Three. Practising Consumption

  1. Clive Barnett,
  2. Paul Cloke,
  3. Nick Clarke and
  4. Alice Malpass

Published Online: 13 JAN 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444390216.ch3

Globalizing Responsibility: The Political Rationalities of Ethical Consumption

Globalizing Responsibility: The Political Rationalities of Ethical Consumption

How to Cite

Barnett, C., Cloke, P., Clarke, N. and Malpass, A. (2010) Practising Consumption, in Globalizing Responsibility: The Political Rationalities of Ethical Consumption, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444390216.ch3

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 JAN 2011
  2. Published Print: 3 DEC 2010

Book Series:

  1. RGS-IBG Book Series

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405145589

Online ISBN: 9781444390216



  • practising consumption, and practice-based theories of consumption - impasse in consumption studies;
  • emergence of practice-based theories of consumption - micro–macro framing of ‘the consumer’ as passive dupe of own exploitation or as an active hero;
  • responsible consumption in Bristol - one of the tensions within field of public debate about consumption;
  • current debates about consumption - people, choice and discretion;
  • policy discourse and public debate in UK - politics of consumption, between dilemmas illustrated by two vignettes;
  • Heideggerian and Wittgensteinian philosophies of mind - sociological theories of practice and structuration;
  • consumption, a political field - consumers as political agents, symptomatic of an elision between consumption and shopping;
  • acknowledging routines and practices - in systems and infrastructures of provision;
  • theorizing consumption in practice-based terms - reassessing proliferation of consumer-oriented rhetoric;
  • practice-based understanding of consumption - supporting an expert-led approach to political intervention


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • The Antinomies of Consumer Choice

  • Theorizing Consumption Practices

  • Problematizing Choice

  • Articulating Background

  • Conclusion