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date: 09 December 2018

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter uses the concept of modes of coordination to differentiate between various forms of political consumerism, often generically treated as consumer movements. When consumer activism consists primarily of individual purchasing decisions, it is difficult to speak of social movements, although consumption takes place in the context of retail/production organizations embedded in a specific consumerist subculture and not purely oriented to the market. In other cases, organizations creating opportunities for critical consumers may develop cooperative ties and engage in substantial and formal collaboration with other similar organizations; individual members may act primarily as individual consumers. In other instances, individuals may be involved in multiple interpersonal connections as members of multiple groups while organizations may not collaborate with each other in significant ways. Finally, both conditions may occur simultaneously, with multiple networks linking individual consumers and service-providing organizations. Such cases are close to a social movement mode of coordination.

Keywords: consumer movements, modes of coordination, social networks, lifestyles, action repertoires

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