Citizen-Consumer Janelle Ward University of - University of Surrey by yurtgc548

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									The Online Citizen-Consumer:
Addressing Young People’s Political
 Consumption Through Technology

                 Janelle Ward
           University of Amsterdam


        Paper prepared for the workshop
  “Young People, New Technologies and Political
                  Engagement”
              University of Surrey

                July 24-25, 2007
Expanding “citizenship” behavior

• New conceptualizations of citizenship

• Role of ICT
  w Youth online and active - but doing what?

• Why the citizen-consumer?
  w Increasing corporate power (globalization)
  w Increase in issue-based movements
 Addressing Consumers as Citizens


• The rise of socially responsible corporations

• Global corporations and responsible consumption

• Citizen-consumer: “a model of citizenship, with some of the
  classical republican dimensions of civic duty, public-spiritedness,
  and self-education is an increasingly apt description of consumer
  behavior” (Scammell, 2000: 352).
 Are consumers really citizens?

• Social consciousness - just a way to
  market brands?

• Hyperrealism

• Are consumers really acting as citizens?
 A citizen-consumer typology

• Socially Conscious Consumer

• Critical Citizen-Consumer

• Anti-Consumer
The Socially Conscious Consumer

• “…a consumer who takes into account the public
  consequences of his or her private consumption or who
  attempts to use his or her purchasing power to bring
  about social change” (Webster, 1975: 188).

• Restricts the exercise of social consciousness to her
  wallet

• Online: information seeking (e.g., The Body Shop)
             The Body Shop


• “Made with Passion”




• Socially Conscious Consumer - addressed as an
  individual

• Hypocritical practices?
  The Critical Citizen-Consumer

• More critical of socially conscious marketing
  techniques

• Proactive information gathering, and
  participation in relevant organizations

• Online: actively monitor corporations (e.g.,
  Friends of the Earth)
        Friends of the Earth

• Environmental organization network with a focus
  on “corporates”
• Addresses the CCC as a member of a collective
          The Anti-Consumer

• Rejects consumer culture

• Rather than working with corporations,
  protests against their role in society

• Online: radical, collective action against
  corporations (e.g., Adbusters)
              Adbusters

• Anti-consumerist holidays
• Culture jamming
• Addresses the Anti-
  Consumer as a member
  of a collective
           Adbusters (2)

• The anti-consumerist sneaker?
       Issues for discussion

• Can each identity be considered “political?”

• How does mode of address differ?

• What kind of democracy is being promoted
  within each identity?

• Categorizing websites within the typology

								
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