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Critiquing a utopian idea of sustainable consumption: a post-capitalism perspective

Dermody, Janine, Koenig-Lewis, Nicole, Zhao, Anita Lifen and Hanmer-Lloyd, Stuart 2021. Critiquing a utopian idea of sustainable consumption: a post-capitalism perspective. Journal of Macromarketing 41 (4) , pp. 626-645. 10.1177/0276146720979148

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This paper proposes and critiques the idea of a post-capitalism sustainable consumption utopia to improve the ecological and human wellbeing of the planet. Such a notion can stimulate new imaginative thinking on a future sustainable world not dominated by neoliberalism. It can also strengthen SDG-12: responsible consumption and production. To do so, it examines the influence of pro-environmental self-identity, market-based barriers, and knowledge barriers on sustainable consumption buying, product lifetime extension, and environmental activism. Survey data was collected via online panels in Sweden (n=504) and the USA (n=1,017). Richly varied and complex findings emerge supporting the merit of this utopian idea. In particular, the importance of pro-environmental self-identity. This study illustrates how the post-capitalism notions of radical incrementalism and people power can initiate change using the civic, political, and environmental activism in sustainable consumption behaviours. Emerging implications for the viability of SDG-12 are also considered. This work offers rich opportunities for further research.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (
Publisher: SAGE Publications (UK and US)
ISSN: 0276-1467
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 1 December 2020
Date of Acceptance: 3 November 2020
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2021 13:49

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