This article examines issues of sustainability in relation to consumption. The authors first discuss the notion of sustainable consumption and the link between individual consumer behavior and the macroconcerns of understanding and influencing aggregate consumption levels. The authors then reflect on the differing perspectives on whether consumption patterns are in need of adjustment. In the main part of the article, the authors then explore the issue of sustainable consumption through the lens of two broadly differing conceptualizations of consumption itself, discussing four main questions for each of these conceptualizations: (1) How is this view of consumption linked to prevalent current understandings of sustainable consumption? (2) How would sustainability be achieved following this perspective on consumption? (3) To whom would this view of sustainable consumption appeal or not appeal? and (4) What would the roles and responsibilities of different social actors be in achieving sustainability following this view of consumption?
- Roles and responsibilities
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