Five. Grammars of Responsibility

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

Published Online: 13 JAN 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444390216.ch5

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) Grammars of Responsibility, in Globalizing Responsibility: The Political Rationalities of Ethical Consumption, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444390216.ch5

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



  • doing consumption differently;
  • grammars of responsibility;
  • contemporary politicization of consumption - deployment of a vocabulary of responsibility, problematizing individual and social practices;
  • emergence of initiatives, ethical consumption - in terms of ethical problematization, methodological entry point;
  • concept of ethical problematization - bypass restriction of our understanding of subjectivity to two mutually supportive alternative visions;
  • research, how individuals relate to ethical consumption policies - campaigns falling into three broad strands;
  • Jackson's reconceptualization of social psychologies - of sustainable consumption practices, reassessment of established paradigms in field;
  • versions of responsibility - focus groups recruited in ten different wards of Bristol;
  • Daniel Miller, 1998 - arguing that ‘moral shopping’ - embedded in relationships with loved ones, friends and colleagues, opposed to demands of ‘ethical shopping’;
  • dilemmas of responsibility - group research, in diverse range of localities of Bristol in the UK


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Justifying Practices

  • Researching the (Ir)responsible Consumer

  • Versions of Responsibility

  • Dilemmas of Responsibility

  • Conclusion