Dr Iain Black - Consuming less and having the same (SLRG Seminar - Feb 2013)
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Dr Iain Black - Consuming less and having the same (SLRG Seminar - Feb 2013)

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  • HEADER DATE Introduce self: Iain Black, UOE, Previously Usyd and Strath Looking at scarctiy in different ways: Involuntary-we impose it via experimental manipulations and voluntary- people impose it on themselves
  • So ofr today structure, I will first explain how I see myself fitting in to HW before moving on To explore one paper from a research stream I have been working for 4 years on now How full am I? That depends on how much I think I’m going to get: Consumer adjustment of satiation rates”. This is involuntary scarcity And breifly look at how this stream will develop in the future. And as I have an abundance of material and a relative scarcity oftime I will more quickly on This is voluntary scarcity HEADER DATE
  • REVEAL FIRST QUOTE From the quote above, what is at the heart of this green gap 30% say they will 3% actually do. Introduce myself as a research: My international reputation as a researcher has been built on work in the area of sustainable consumption particularly focus on non-consumption and the barriers to sustainable behaviour . Approach is to focus on key disciplinary questions but to be multidisciplinary, multi-institutional in my execution REVEAL 2 ND QUOTE This focus, clearly fits not only with the marketing group within Business Management group, with Creativity, Enterprise & Sustainability Group (CREST) and the Logistics Research Centre ( have also worked the Sydney uni institute of transport and logistics (Prof Alan Mackinnon) but I think importantly from what I understand as important themes important for the wider university: Non consumption and barriers to consumption can involve not only choosing not to consume the whole item or service but also include how the consumption experience is changed with more or less taken from each experience. I.e if we do a thought experiment, : you consume less, per unit when presented with a large bag of m and m’s when compared to when you are told that you only have 2 fine quality belgian chocolates, This is why I have spent 4 years studying consumers responses to scarcity and abundance.
  • Key question here is changes to availability of goods and services to consumers We have lived in times of abundance
  • These examples show we are now living in different times: be it the shortage of the rare earth mineral coltan, the tripling of wheat prices caused by climate change – here I show russian wheat which was so affected by drought that the russian government banned exports in 2010 or the most critical shortage- water- the final picture shows irrigated wheat fields in Saudi Arabian desert, irrigated by water from fossil aquifers. They have gone from a country with the largest dairy farm on earth 37,000 cows and being a net exporter of dairy products to a net importer- and with their riches, purchasing grain and dairy products previously consumed by developing nations such as Yemen. We now live in times where growing resource and environmental scarcity which is affecting our ability to purchase bread and dairy products at the same price and conceptually we are faced with both voluntary and involuntary scarcities- voluntary where we choose to consume less because of moral, ehthical or lifestyle motivations and involuntary scarcities where population growth and finite resources mean there is not enough to satisfy demand or that the product is so expensive we can no longer afford as much. At the very heart of the argument for moving towards a sustainable society is that we move back from living an over abudant lifestayle, consuming more than the planet and other human beings can support, therefore we must learn to live in more scarce times to bring society back in balance. Therefore this informs important debates within business: how will consumers respond to these scarcities-. How do we represent value when availability is restricted, how will consumers consume- will the take greater or less value from these scarce resources. My work therefore fits in with key Marketing and Business Management
  • Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger , Ensuring environmental sustainability , HEADER DATE
  • Scarctiy as a communication and persuation tactic is well know and common in the retail sector: Creating scarcities such as time scarcities – one day only events or as Zara have shown the power of product scarcities whose success is attirubted to their the retailer only manufactured only relatively small quantities of each style. Whereas the tactic is well known, less is know about how consumers then use, consume and dispose of the items sold in this way. This highlights the difficulty faced by siganlling scarcity for environmental reasons, will it trigger some response like the last days of rome. Purchasing and consumption, feasting on what is left- see this with folk made redundant and going on hols rather than saving
  • HEADER DATE Now move to talk about specific project
  • First we looked at the influence of Scarce consumption opportunities in the immediate future Scarcity: in this study is less than we expect Note, in second study the scarcity is less than we want Grey area that requires more work from us to fully unpack Less than and more than a desirable amount (tension between “desired amount in an world without limits and amount desired Iwith the restictions placed on yourself) Have also looked Abundant consumption Abundance: More than we expect. Starting with scarctiy, to introduce the topic lets think about some limited consumption and how we react.
  • These are the limited opportunities we first considered when we First area to look at in scarcity is how this will affect satiation. Example of satiation- all enjoyable activities are satiating eating drinking, walking running, watch films. It was our discussions on surfing, skiing and drinking red wine that led us to this topic.
  • HEADER DATE In this paper, we test the theory that savouring is the mechanism by which consumers respond to scarcity, leading to greater satiation and trade offs between present and future utility. One of the most basic principles of consumption is satiation (McAlister 1982). People eventually stop consuming a resource because additional units no longer provide enjoyment. They become satiated (i.e. tired, bored, full, etc.) Satiation research covers a wide range of physical and psychological factors. KEY ISSUE HERE IS THAT SATIATION RATES CAN BE CHANGED. IS SCARCITY ONE OF THESE factors that changes it? Perceived consumption quantity; manipulations of containers evoking biases, so same volume is perceived as more or less and this then effect perception of how much can be eaten and how much was subsequently eaten We are more interested in the physiological control over levels of fullness and absence of hunger
  • HEADER DATE Another relevant stream is how we trade off utility for current vs delayed consumption. I.e when faced with scarcity we trade off utility Utility of current versus delayed consumption Often conflict between maximizing present versus future utility (Hoch and Loewenstein 1991) A given factor i.e. variety can affect present and future utility in opposite directions (Ratner, Kahn and Kahneman 1999) Consumers are aware of these conflicts and actively make trade-offs between present and future utility (Kahn, Ratner and Kahneman 1997) Think about playing music., you may want to listen to your favourite tune over and over again, but this will lead to diminshed enjoyment, so you seek variety though the next record is not as good as your fav Finally our thought experiments brought us to the savoring literature as the mechanism, we thought allows us to satiate with scarcity and to trade off utility. Savoring: Is a focusing of attention on the sensory input of consumption experience (Bryant 2003) “ heightened awareness” that “makes us more fully conscious of the pleasurable things we see, hear, smell, touch, or taste” (Bryant and Veroff 2007, p. 6) It prolongs and intensifies the enjoyment of a consumption activity by extending it outside of the current moment and drawing attention to aspects of the experience that might otherwise be missed We contend that these 3 research themes are related where savouring is the mechanism by which consumers respond to scarcity, leading to greater satiation and trade offs between present and future utility. Series of experiments to study this
  • HEADER DATE
  • HEADER DATE Set up at 1.10 Back in at 2:15 Listen to instructions and watch until Then vid 57: 02:02 to 02:24 Same basic proceedure: studnets come in room see 6 on the plate and either told then they are getting 2 or after 2 nd piece Complete DV’s Time taken measured via observation – could see between frosted areas
  • In Study 1, participants who learned in advance that they would receive only two of six displayed pieces of chocolate…
  • HEADER DATE
  • HEADER DATE DV’s How many of the chocolates do they Desire/Want ( measured before expectations set) Open ended response format Overall tasting time (in seconds) Capacity for additional pieces (How many additional pieces could you eat right now? Open ended response format Number of pieces eaten Desire: “ I would like a lot more chocolate now,” “I really wish I could try additional pieces of chocolate,” “I’ve tasted enough chocolate for today,” and “If there were more pieces of chocolate, I’d taste them now,” with each statement followed by two response scales anchored by “Strongly disagree” (1) – (9) “Strongly agree” and “Not at all” (1) – (9) “Definitely”.
  • HEADER DATE We have the added benefit in this design of having control groups: exp 2 get 2 and expect 6 get 6.
  • Study 2 replicated the key findings of Studies 1. Compared to those who are told after eating, those who know before eating that will receive only 2 of 6 pieces ate more slowly and became satiated more quickly In addition, it demonstrated that the opposite effects occur when participants receive more pieces of chocolate than expected. Compared to those who are told after eating, those who know before eating that will receive 6 rather 2 pieces as expected ate more quickly and became satiated more slowly It distinguished between whether it is getting less than expected or less than desired: Eating time: Expectations: Main effect (F1,139 = 4.18, p < .05. Sig) If you get less than expected you take longer to eat Desire: Neither Main effect nor Interaction effect (desired quantity x expected) were significant (F1,136 < 1) Capacity for more: Main effect for Expectations (F1,139 = 4.18, p < .05. Sig) If you get less than expected you are fuller after having eaten Main effect for Desire F1,66 = 9.45, p < .005, Sig, but no interaction between the two (Expectations and Desires) If you desire more you can eat more Suggesting Expectations and Desires have independent effect on how much you can eat So, on balance, the tendency to adjust eating speed and rate of satiation to changes in the actual quantity to be consumed is driven more by expectations than by desires. Or if faced with 2 pieces of chocolcate I may eat them at a different rate and be more full afterwards depending on how many I epect rather than how many I desire
  • HEADER DATE Contribution: Main Experimental Result: Being warned that you will get less than expected leads to eating more slowly, consuming “more” per unit of consumption and being more satiated Main Theoretical Contribution : When people know they will get less than they want, they savour in order to increase real time enjoyment and hence compensate for the anticipated future self which is less full and has had less enjoyment Present and Future selves co-operate ( other work shows often shows an antagonistic relationship) Linking research streams in Satiation (Galak, Redden and Kruger 2009) , Savouring (Bryant and Veroff 2007) and Consumer trade offs between current and delayed consumption (Ratner, Kahn and Kahneman 1999)
  • Expectation vs Desire vs Capacity Obesity and Diet How can we encourage dieters to lose weight? How can we help them avoid overeating in the first place Advice on portion size Sustainable Development Overuse of resources by developed nations is in part based on the cornucopia of goods and services available How to encourage more sustainable levels of consumption of scarce and rare resources Business and Public Policy Contribution Organisation understanding and Public Policy on sales promotions based on volume How to sell sustainability to your consumers where resources prices (Oil, Wheat, Water, Precious and rare minerals) reduce volume that is sold to maintain price or where organisational accounting moves toward a triple bottom line approach
  • Really a study of disposal and self induced voluatary scarcities Aim: To explore disposal and management of identity conflicts in working mothers
  • Within this context this research is about disposal of things and disposal of behaviours. We focus on how working mothers manage their multiple roles and the conflicts that occur between these roles
  • It is under constant negotiation in our social world, where shared meanings and public standards play a central role in the definition of identities such as woman, m Self : Social and Personal and Extendable (Belk, 1988) Relatively stable, Coherent More Ahuvia, 2005 and Tian and Belk, 2005) than Belk (1988) and Kleine and Klein (2000) Yet organized as an ever developing, narrative ( Atkins 2004; Ahuvia 2005) Narrative is partly dialogical in nature (Taylor (1992, Brison, 1997) We learn how to understand ourselves and others via discussion with others and society. Thus changing societal dialogue/narrative can shift the boundaries of what a specific group identity is understood to be (such as mother or radical conservationist ) Shifting societal expectations create challenges for maintaining a coherent self Particularly where shifts bring rejected or avoided identities into alignment with existing core identities (i.e. woman, mother vs. environmentalist, political activist) other or environmental activist (Schechtman, 1996).
  • 17 mothers from Toronto (wider study into identity conflicts and barriers to sustainable practice) Mothers chosen because of multiple roles performed, i.e. mother, wife, homemaker, employee, and friend Recently made considerable changes to their consumption practices with goal of consuming in a more sustainable fashion Diminished the amount of waste they generate and had integrated recycling as their main disposal practice. Recruitment via recruitment agency 1.5 - 3hrs, in-home discussions Grounded theory analysis techniques used
  • High level of knowledge and commitment to performing a wide range of sustainable behaviours General concern and specific understanding about environmental issues. GHG emissions, water, air and food pollution food, rubbish disposal Clearly knowledgeable and intending to act Understand consequences of these issues: ‘ I: Why are you doing all this? R: Well because the Earth is in need of it I guess, and you know, worrying about your kids futures and what’s it going to look like for them and the whole global warming thing.”
  • Pro-environmental consumption often practiced through Anti-consumption in acts of rejection , reduction and reuse, not purchasing green alternatives. These practices are constructed through the collaboration between the needs of the individual and the needs for environmental preservation Non consumption used to support symbolic, identity narrative Change within the consumerist paradigm Rejection of “Treehugger”, radical environmentalist, Conservationist identity “ Would you call yourself a conservationist? R: “I think like people on the outside who aren’t into conservation stuff probably would, but me from being, looking within and looking at the extreme conservationist people, then I wouldn’t.” x
  • Conflict is created by the contrasting social positions, values and behaviour inherent in the different roles played: i.e. mother, professional worker and green consumer, What practices are required to be a mother may sometime conflict with those required to be lawyer or green consumer. How the disposal practices are integrated into the daily routines can be understood using a framework of identity conflicts and strategies used to manage these conflicts (Swann 1987, Murray 2002, Ahuvia 2005). Didn’t find Ahuvia’s (2005) “Demarcating,” “Compromising” and “Synthesizing” strategies. Instead becoming green necessitates new disposing practices that are managed through Assimilation (Accepting or Modifying) or Rejection strategies. Process where values and meanings of the new sustainable disposal practice are assimilated into prominent “core” identities without changing them . This strategy allows respondents to reduce their amount of waste and the adoption of recycling to occur within personally and socially acceptable boundaries. Changing without changing Disposing of things and practices without disposing or changing identity
  • For example: Katherine: Now sorts and recycles: glass ,metal plastics, food/yard waste, paper, used nappies (diapers), tissues and general waste She found this a straightforward change and wishes she could do more! Also stopped the waste linked to using strong chemical household cleaners. In order to modify her waste production, she started using vinegar and baking soda The meaning of this sustainable disposal practices was assimilated into her conceptualization of herself as a mother without changing it, despite These previously radical behaviours being associated with environmentalist.
  • Recycling Sorting of recycling, What is recycled What is reused What is throw away What behaviours are disposed of Francis, Katherine, Susan, Racheal, Trish, Regina Need to work through examples so it is disposal behaviours: Recycling Sorting of recycling, What is recycled What is reused What is throw away What behaviours are disposed of Francis, Katherine, Susan, Racheal, Trish, Regina
  • What wont they recycle?
  • We highlights how conflicts between core and other identities, created by changing standards and values, can be negotiated so that despite ( and because of) the adoption of new values and consumption practices, self image can be maintained. “ Assimilation” strategy allows change to be avoided even in the face of considerable change. In this way behaviours previously considered as radical were easily adopted and maintained Assimilation occurs because of the hierarchical nature of the conflicting identities and the central importance of motherhood to sense of self. Properties do not exist in Ahuvia’s examination of loved objects (2005) or Mick and Fournier’s (1998) technical paradoxes.
  • Disposal occurring without disposing of the meaning of the practice; i.e. Katherine's disposal of a un-environmentally friendly behaviour was not accompanied by the disposal of the meaning of this behaviour to her motherhood (a good mother keeps a clean house protecting her children against disease and illness) Instead some of the meaning is transferred on to a new behavior that does not cause conflict between her multiple roles. So she avoids becoming too environmental or jeopardising her mothering values. Assimilation appears to occur because of the hierarchical nature of the conflicting identities and the central importance of motherhood to these women’s sense of self. Properties do not exist in Ahuvia’s examination of loved objects (2005) or Mick and Fournier’s (1998) technical paradoxes.

Dr Iain Black - Consuming less and having the same (SLRG Seminar - Feb 2013) Dr Iain Black - Consuming less and having the same (SLRG Seminar - Feb 2013) Presentation Transcript

  • Consuming less and having the same: Consumer responses to scarcity Dr Iain Black
  • Structure1.Consuming less and having the same: Consumerresponses to scarcity  The “Chocolate Experiments” – ““How full am I? That depends on how much I think I’m going to get: Consumer adjustment of satiation rates”.2.Recycling: Yes but caring for my loved ones first!Exploring Identity Conflicts amongst “Green”Working Mothers  Conference paper to be presented at ISDRS Cape Town 2013
  • Sustainable Consumption Despite the two Earth Summits at Rio and Johannesburg, the publication of corporate environmental or sustainability strategies becoming commonplace, and the launch of many innovative greener products, environmental and economic data demonstrate that the majority of trends continue to move away from sustainability.” (Peattie and Peattie, 2009, p. 260) “much of the responsibility for cutting carbon rests with us as consumers. Our perception of the climate change problem and willingness to adjust to a low carbon lifestyle also needs to be researched. Focus on the Future, p14
  • From Consumer abundance
  • Resource and environmentalScarcity
  • Scarcity and Abundance asMDG issues
  • Scarcity and SD messages
  • Scarcity as a retail tactic
  • How full am I? That depends onhow much I thought I was goingto get: Consumer adjustment ofsatiation rates.Iain BlackCharles Areni (University of Sydney)
  • Overall Aim of Research Project: This research aimed to develop a theory of how satiation and expectations about consumption opportunities in the immediate future, influence the enjoyment of present consumption experiences.• We have studied both Scarce and Abundant consumption opportunities
  • Anticipating futurescarcity
  • Conceptual DevelopmentHow do consumers respond to scarcity?•One of the most basic principles of consumption is satiation (McAlister 1982).•A number of factors affect the rate at which we satiate: –Physical Factors:  Consumption quantity and physical capacity –Psychological Factors:  Social norms (Rozin et al. 1998; McFerran et al. 2010)  Ease of consumption (Wansink, Painter and Lee 2006)  Perceived variety (Redden 2008; Galak, Redden and Kruger 2009)  Perceived consumption quantity (Raghubir and Krishna 1999)  Monitoring of consumption quantity (Polivy et al., 1986; Wansink 2004)
  • Conceptual Development cont..•Utility of current versus delayed consumption –Often conflict between maximizing present versus future utility (Hoch and Loewenstein 1991) A given factor i.e. variety can affect present and future utility in opposite directions (Ratner, Kahn and Kahneman 1999)•Savoring: –Is a focusing of attention on the sensory input of consumption experience (Bryant 2003)  “heightened awareness” that “makes us more fully conscious of the pleasurable things we see, hear, smell, touch, or taste” (Bryant and Veroff 2007, p. 6)
  • Study One:Relationship between Scarcity, Savouring and Satiation Research Question: Does Scarcity trigger Savouring and effect satiation?• Hypothesis• Compared to those who are told after eating, those who know before eating that will receive only 2 of 6 pieces will: • H1: Eat more slowly, • H2: Will be more satiated and • H3: Will desire fewer additional pieces• Independent variable:• Scarcity signaled or not:• Dependent Variables: • Eating time, • Satiation levels • Desire for additional pieces N=39 (31 female)
  • Procedure Expect 6 Receive 2 Told before or after
  • Results:Those anticipating scarcity… DV Sig Means•Ate more slowly Tasting time: F1,27 = 2.08, n/s Piece one p < .16 –H1•Were fuller Tasting time: F1,27 = 9.04, M = 57.50 vs. –H2 Piece Two p < .01 M = 22.54.•Had less desire for Capacity for F1,27 = 7.52, M = 5.10 vs.additional pieces additional pieces: p < .01 M = 6.63. –H3 Desire to eat more F1,27 = 7.92, M = 2.10 vs. chocolate: p < .01 M = 4.08.
  • Study two: –Is effect caused by violating desired number vs. expected number?  Manipulations suggest Expectations, theory suggest Wants. –Interested to testing key theoretical finding via Abundance
  • Study Two Independent variable:  Scarcity/Abundance signaled or not:  Before they start eating vs. After 2nd piece Dependent Variables:  How many of the chocolates do they Desire/Want (measured before plate of chocs)  Overall tasting time  Capacity for additional pieces  Number of pieces eaten N= 151 (109 female)
  • Study Two Expect 6 Told Receive 2 Receive 6 or before or after s ition ond or c ityControl condition S carc Expect 2 Told Receive 2 Receive 6 before or after n o n diti l co or Abundance conditions Contro Measure Desire/Want first before expectations set up
  • Study Two results Signaling scarcity before eating group ate more slowly and became satiated more quickly  Replicates studies 1. Opposite effects occur when participants receive more pieces of chocolate than expected. – Signaling abundance before eating group ate more quickly and became satiated more slowly Distinguishes between Expectation and Desire: – Eating time:  Expectations: Main effect (F1,139 = 4.18, p < .05. Sig)  Desire: Neither Main effect nor Interaction effect (desired quantity x expected) were significant (F1,136 < 1) – Capacity for more:  Main effect for Expectations (F1,139 = 4.18, p < .05. Sig)  If you get less than expected you are fuller after having eaten  Main effect for Desire F1,66 = 9.45, p < .005, Sig, but no interaction between the two (Expectations and Desires)
  • Discussion and Contribution –Main Experimental Result:  Being warned that you will get less than expected leads to eating more slowly, consuming “more” per unit of consumption and being more satiated –Main Theoretical Contribution:  Present and Future selves co-operate  Linking research streams in Satiation (Galak, Redden and Kruger 2009) , Savouring (Bryant and Veroff 2007) and Consumer trade offs between current and delayed consumption (Ratner, Kahn and Kahneman 1999)
  • Key Practical SD Contributions What portion sizes, packaging and communications decisions can firms make in order to satisfy the desires of their consumers whilst simultaneously protecting both the environment and society (hence to follow a TBL accounting approach)? How to signal reduced sizes  Scarcity and Quality How to sell to your consumers where resources prices (Oil, Wheat, Water, precious and rare minerals) are reducing the volumes that can be afforded
  • Questions?
  • Recycling: Yes but caring formy loved ones first! ExploringIdentity Conflicts amongst“Green” Working MothersDr Iain Black, The University of EdinburghDr Helene Cherrier, Griffith University
  • Context• Professional working mothers experience conflicting personal and social expectations. – Personal goals (Work, CPD) vs. Evolutionary (Mothering practices) (Kenrick et al.,2003) and social goals (Thompson 1996) – Working mothers: “Am I a bad mother”…• In managing these conflicting expectations, these super- mothers often opt for unsustainable consumption practices: – Convenience consumption (Reilly 1982; Reilly and Wallendorf 1987) – Buying pre-processed foods (Thompson 1996). – Often do not often have to time and energy to integrate sustainable waste management in their lifestyle (Godbey et al. 1998).
  • Conceptual Framework Used Self : Social and Personal and Extendable (Belk, 1988) Relatively stable, Coherent  More Ahuvia, 2005 and Tian and Belk, 2005) than Belk (1988) and Kleine and Klein (2000)  Yet organized as an ever developing, narrative (Atkins 2004; Ahuvia 2005) Narrative is partly dialogical in nature (Taylor (1992, Brison, 1997)  We learn how to understand ourselves and others via discussion with others and society. Shifting societal expectations create challenges for maintaining a coherent self Voluntary Scarcity
  • Method: – 17 mothers from Sydney and Toronto – Recruitment via “Greenhomes” initiative recruitment agency – 1.5 - 3hrs, in-home discussions – Grounded theory analysis techniques used
  • Findings• High level of knowledge and commitment to performing a wide range of sustainable behaviours• General concern and specific understanding about environmental issues. – GHG emissions, water, air and food pollution food, rubbish disposal – Clearly knowledgeable and intending to act• Understand consequences of these issues: – ‘I: Why are you doing all this? R: Well because the Earth is in need of it I guess, and you know, worrying about your kids futures and what’s it going to look like for them and the whole global warming thing.”
  • Findings– Pro-environmental consumption often practiced through Anti- consumption in acts of rejection, reduction and reuse, not purchasing green alternatives.– Non consumption used to support symbolic, identity narrative• Change within the consumerist paradigm• Rejection of “Treehugger”, radical environmentalist, Conservationist identity – “Would you call yourself a conservationist? R: “I think like people on the outside who aren’t into conservation stuff probably would, but me from being, looking within and looking at the extreme conservationist people, then I wouldn’t.”
  • Conceptual Findings• Conflict is created by the contrasting social positions, values and behaviour inherent in the different roles played: i.e. mother, professional worker and green consumer.• How consumption and disposal practices are integrated into the daily routines can be understood using a framework of identity conflicts and strategies used to manage these conflicts (Swann 1987, Murray 2002, Ahuvia 2005). – Becoming green necessitates new consumption and disposal practices that are managed through Assimilation (Accepting or Modifying) or Rejection strategies.
  • Identity Conflict Strategies ID’s in“Conflict” Core Identity Periphery IdentityStrategy Rejection Assimilation Strategy Strategy Tactics Accept ModifyOutcome Core Identity Periphery IdentityRejected Periphery Identity
  • Accepting:• Where the new consumption or disposal practice is not felt to cause conflict between the core and periphery identity, then it can be readily integrated in to their daily routine.• All mothers Accepted some form of recycling as a disposal practice. – Behaviour from other role/identity was assimilated into Motherhood• For example: Katherine: – Now sorts and recycles: glass ,metal plastics, food/yard waste, paper, used nappies (diapers), tissues and general waste – She found this a straightforward change and wishes she could do more! – Rejected strong chemical household cleaners, using vinegar and baking soda
  • Modifying Some behaviours or values under scrutiny required modification before it was assimilated into the core identity.  Without this the behaviour would impinge too greatly on the core identity and would be rejected.• Francis: – Rather than clean the bottles and cans for recycling, she would (sometimes) give them a quick rinse (if at all) and put them in the appropriate box.  Conflict between environmental and mother (time poor/juggling)• Rachael: – Rather than accept the environmental messages regarding eating significantly less (or no) meat, she still feeds her daughter hamburgers – Concern over iron and weight  Conflict between environmental and mother
  • Rejecting• Where the conflicting consumption or disposal behaviour would mean a change in the core identity, it may be rejected – I.e. practice impinges on some fundamental part of their motherhood• Francis – Rejects the use of environmentally friendly cleaners as believes they do not work as well. Therefore house is not as clean and safe – Conflicting with very strong (Italian) mother where cleanliness is critical.  But will make own insecticide, will modify car use• Regina – Rejects the reuse of printer paper  It clogs the printer, false economy  Mother vs. “corporate shark” vs environmentalist
  • Discussion• Conflicts between core and other identities, can be negotiated so that despite (and because of) the adoption of new values and consumption practices, self image can be maintained. – “Assimilation” strategy allows change to be avoided even in the face of considerable change.• Assimilation occurs because of the hierarchical nature of the conflicting identities and the central importance of motherhood to sense of self. – Properties do not exist in Ahuvia’s examination of loved objects (2005) or Mick and Fournier’s (1998) technical paradoxes.
  • Discussion• Disposal, change and loss occurring without disposing or loss of the meaning of the practice; – i.e. Katherines disposal of a un-environmentally friendly behaviour was not accompanied by the disposal of the meaning of this behaviour to her motherhood (a good mother keeps a clean house protecting her children against disease and illness)• Instead some of the meaning is transferred on to a new behavior that does not cause conflict between her multiple roles. – So she avoids becoming too environmental or jeopardising her mothering values.
  • Discussion– Show that beyond information processing, intentions based models, identity conflicts and self interested needs are important barriers– Questions the notion of the Sustainable Consumer– Develops understanding of voluntary scarcities
  • Recommendations:– Incorporate changes into existing identities rather than requiring the consumer to change the way they see themselves.– Rather than attempting to “turn people green” frame changes as being a necessary part of existing core identities such as mother, father, wife etc.– Changes want to be made within the dominant consumer economy discourse. – This is a concern!
  • Recommendations Reinforces requirement for governments to provide structural support for the individual actions. Position sustainable practices along side self interested notions such as independence, beauty, quality or value for money. Avoid “charity appeal” Importance of mundane practices not extraordinary experiences that might be at the climax of consumer identity change, transformation or revelation.
  • Tying it all together  These studies work together to help build conceptually more holistic understanding of the fundamental premise underlying marketing sustainability living with less and the overriding conclusion is that we make do, we are able to gain value in other ways, we consume at different rates, take more utility, use other products or services to build or maintain self image. We can reassure people that by consuming less, they will not have less  We can do the same with less.