Austerity Ireland, the New Thrift Culture and Sustainable Consumption
AbstractIn this article, I discuss whether austerity measures have an impact on individual consumers’ orientations towards sustainability. Through an ethnographic examination of second-hand markets, in particular flea markets and second-hand baby goods markets, I examine whether economic crisis has changed people’s consumption habits in Irish society. While the study of sustainability has a long, interdisciplinary history, little is known about the relationship between austerity and sustainable consumption patterns, particularly in an Irish context. Thus, this study questions whether reduced spending and consumption patterns may serve the interests of sustainability politics.
Allen, K. and O’Boyle, B. 2013 Austerity Ireland: the failure of Irish Capitalism. London: Pluto Press. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctt183p540
Arnould, E.J. and Bardhi, F. 2005 ‘Thrift shopping: combining utilitarian thrift and hedonic treat benefits.’ Journal of Consumer Behaviour 4(4): 223-233 https://doi.org/10.1002/cb.12
Assadourian, E. 2010 ‘Transforming cultures: from consumerism to sustainability.’ Journal of Macromarketing 30(2): 186-191. https://doi.org/10.1177/0276146710361932
Banbury, C. et al. 2012 ‘Sustainable consumption: introspecting across multiple lived cultures.’ Journal of Business Research 65(4): 497-503. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2011.02.028
Barr, S. et al. 2011 ‘The policy and practice of ‘sustainable lifestyles.’ Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 54(10): 1331-1350. https://doi.org/10.1080/09640568.2011.574996
Barendregt, Bart and Rivke Jaffe (eds.). 2014 Green Consumption: The Global Rise of Eco-chic. London: Bloomsbury. https://doi.org/10.5040/9781474214049
Beck, U. 1992 Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity. New Delhi: Sage.
Belz, F. and Peattie, K. 2009 Sustainability Marketing: A Global Perspective. West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons.
Bramall, R. 2013 The Cultural Politics of Austerity: Past and Present in Austere Times. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1177/0267323114533046i
Coulter, C. and Nagle, A. (eds). 2015 Ireland under Austerity: Neoliberal Crisis, Neoliberal Solutions. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Callan, T. et al. 2013 ‘The great recession, austerity and inequality: evidence from Ireland.’ Intereconomics 48 (6): 335-338.
Connolly, J. and Prothero, A. 2008 ‘Green consumption: life-politics, risk and contradictions.’ Journal of Consumer Culture 8(1): 117-45. https://doi.org/10.1177/1469540507086422
Corcoran, M. and Kettle P. 2015 'Urban agriculture, civil interfaces and moving beyond difference: the experiences of plot holders in Dublin and Belfast.' Local Environment 20 (10):1215-1230. https://doi.org/10.1080/13549839.2015.1038228
Ehrenfeld, J. and Hoffman, A.J. 2013 Flourishing: A Frank Conversation about Sustainability. Redwood City, CA, USA: Stanford University Press.
Evans, D. 2011 ‘Thrifty, green or frugal: reflections on sustainable consumption in a changing economic climate.’ Geoforum 42 (5): 550-557. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2011.03.008
Franklin, A. 2011 ‘The Ethics of Second Hand Consumption’. In T. Lewis and E. Potter (eds). Ethical Consumption: A Critical Introduction, pp. 156-168. Oxon: Routledge.
Giddens, A. 1990 Consequences of modernity. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Gregson, N. and Crew, L. 2003 Second Hand Cultures. Oxford: Berg. https://doi.org/10.2752/9781847888853
Guiot, D. and Roux, D. 2010 ‘A second-hand shoppers’ motivation scale: antecedents, consequences, and implications for retailers.’ Journal of Retailing 86(4): 355-371. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jretai.2010.08.002
Hart, K. 2010 The Human Economy. UK: Polity Press
Hinton, E. and Redclift, M. 2009 Austerity and Sufficiency: The Changing Politics of Sustainable Consumption. London: King's College London.
Holt, D. 2012 ‘Constructing sustainable consumption.’ The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 644(November): 236-255. https://doi.org/10.1177/0002716212453260
Humphery, K. 2010. ‘The simple and the good: ethical consumption as anti-consumerism.’ In T. Lewis and E. Potter (eds) Ethical Consumption: A Critical Introduction, pp. 40-53. London: Routledge.
Ince, A. and Hall, S.M. (eds.). 2017 Sharing Economies in Times of Crisis: Practices, Politics and Possibilities. Abingdon: Routledge.
Jackson, T. 2005 ‘Motivating sustainable consumption: a review of evidence on consumer behaviour and behavioural change.’ Report to the Sustainable Development Research Network, accessed 24 July, 2013, available at: http://www.sustainablelifestyles.ac.uk/sites/default/files/motivating_sc_final.pdf.
Jensen, T. 2013 ‘Tough love in tough times.’ Studies in the Maternal 4 (2), available at: http://www.mamsie.bbk.ac.uk/Jensen_SiM_4_2_2012.html. (January 19th 2016). https://doi.org/10.16995/sim.35
Kenny, M. 2012 ‘Ireland faces a choice between lucre and liberty.’ The Guardian, May 25th. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/may/25/ireland-faces-choice-lucre-liberty-eu, accessed 13 August, 2015.
Keohane, K. and Kuhling, C. 2014 The Political, Domestic and Moral Economies of Post Celtic Tiger Ireland. Manchester: Manchester University Press. https://doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719091674.003.0010
Kilbourne, W. et al. 1997 ‘Sustainable consumption and the quality of life: a macromarketing challenge to the dominant social paradigm.’ Journal of Macromarketing 17: 4-24. https://doi.org/10.1177/027614679701700103
Kitchin, R. 2014 ‘The real-time city? Big data and smart urbanism.’ GeoJournal 79(1): 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10708-013-9516-8
Klein, N. 2014 This Changes Everything. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Lambkin, M. 2016 Consumer Market Monitor (Quarterly Report). Dublin: University College Dublin and Irish Marketing Institute.
McDonough, W. and Braungart, M. 2002 Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way we Make Things. North Point Press: New York.
McDonagh, P. and Prothero, A. 2014 ‘Sustainability marketing research: past, present and future.’ Journal of Marketing Management 30(11-12): 1186-1219. https://doi.org/10.1080/0267257x.2014.943263
Miller, D. 2012 Consumption and Its Consequences. London: Polity Press.
Miller, D. 1998 A Theory of Shopping. UK: Cornell University Press.
Nava, M. 1991 ‘Consumerism reconsidered: buying and power.’ Cultural Studies 5(2): 157-173. https://doi.org/10.1080/09502389100490141
Murphy, F and Mcdonagh, P. (eds). 2016 Envisioning Sustainabilities: Towards an Anthropology of Sustainability. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Murphy, F. (Forthcoming) 2017. ‘The austerity myth: parenting and the new thrift culture in contemporary Ireland’. In Heffernan, E., Moore-Cherry, N. and McHale, J. Debating Austerity in Ireland. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy.
Nolan, B. et al. 2000 Bust to boom? The Irish Experience of Growth and Inequality. Dublin: IPA.
Paavola, J. 2001 ‘Towards sustainable consumption: economics and ethical concerns for the environment in consumer choice.’ Review of Social Economy 59 (2): 228-248. https://doi.org/10.1080/00346760122574
Peattie, K. 2001 ‘Golden goose or wild goose? The hunt for the green consumer.’ Business Strategy and the Environment 10(4): 187-199. https://doi.org/10.1002/bse.292
Reisch, L. 2001 ‘Time and wealth: the role of time and temporalities for sustainable patterns of consumption.’ Time and Society 10:367-385. https://doi.org/10.1177/0961463x01010002012
Robinot, E. and J. L. Giannelloni 2009 ‘Attitudes towards environmentally friendly hospitality management: a measurement scale.’ Recherche et Applications en Marketing 24(2): 29-50. https://doi.org/10.1177/205157070902400202
Sachs, J. 2015 The Age of Sustainable Development. New York: Columbia University Press
Scott, K. et al. 2014 ‘Marketing and the new materialism.’ Journal of Macromarketing 34(3): 282-290. https://doi.org/10.1177/0276146714532471
Simms, A. 2001 An Environmental War Economy. UK: NEF Foundation.
Slater, D. 1997 Consumer culture and modernity. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Soper, K. 2013 ‘The dialectics of progress: Irish ‘belatedness’ and the politics of prosperity.’ Ephemera 13(12): 249-267.
United Nations. 1987 Our Common Future - Brundtland Report. UK: Oxford University Press.
Waight, E. 2014 ‘Second-hand consumption among middle-class mothers in the UK: thrift, distinction and risk.’ Families, Relationships and Societies Vol.3(1): 159-162. https://doi.org/10.1332/204674313x13805551473134
Wells, P. E. 2012 The Automotive Industry in an Era of Eco-austerity: Creating an Industry as if the Planet Mattered. Aldershot: Edward Elgar. https://doi.org/10.4337/9781849807203
Wilk, R. 2009 ‘Consuming ourselves to death.’ In Crate, S. (ed.) Anthropology and Climate Change: From Encounters to Actions, pp. 265-276. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, Inc.
William K. R., O'Connell,P.J. and Prothero, A. (eds). 2016 Austerity and Recovery in Ireland: Europe's Poster Child and the Great Recession. Oxford: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198792376.001.0001
Copyright (c) 2017 Fiona Murphy
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).