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© 2002 Blackwell Science Ltd International Journal of Consumer Studies, 26, 3, September 2002, pp169–177
| 169
Consumer education: educational considerations
and perspectives
Jette Benn
The Danish University of Education, Emdrupvej 101, DK 2400 Copenhagen NV, Denmark
and the meaning of this for identity, learning and teach-
ing.1
The project has been funded partly by the Danish
Ministry of Commerce; it is one of eight within the main
theme: young people and consumption. The main
research questions in this project were:
∑ What do children and adolescents understand
by consumption and how do they perform as
consumers?
∑ What questions does this raise for consumer educa-
tion concerning aims, content and competencies?
∑ How can the perspective of the household be kept
in focus?
The relationship between the household, household
production and consumption is interesting for people
involved in this field. Furthermore, it is essential to
understand the meaning of consumption for the
younger generation as well as for the private household,
and not just concentrate on the heavily researched
public or commercial view. A definition of the aims of
consumer research from this angle can be seen at the
web-page for the Institute for Marketing, South-Danish
University: ‘As far as the subject matter of consumer
research is concerned, emphasis should be placed on
casting light on those different aspects of consumer
behaviour which are manifested at individual, market
and societal level.’2
Until now most research has been aimed primarily
at gaining an understanding of how consumers act and
react for the benefit of producers or society. Recently
children and young people have been put on the
research agenda in Denmark and the Nordic countries
in their roles as consumers. Examples of this research
were presented at a seminar in Copenhagen in June
2001 under the title ‘Children’s Socialization as
Consumers and their Perception of Advertising’.3,4
In
addition, two seminars have taken place which dealt
with the same issue, but from different angles – both
were initiated by the Danish Consumer Board. The
sociological and psychological aspects of consumption
Abstract
This paper examines questions concerning consumer
education in relation to consumption and household man-
agement. It is based partly on literature studies and partly
on a current pilot study, also on studies carried out in the
classroom and developmental work in schools and on
teacher training courses. The pilot study on consumer edu-
cation is being carried out in Denmark and is funded by
the Danish Ministry of Business Affairs. Another part of the
study concerns a qualitative investigation of pupils’ under-
standings of consumption and its meaning in their lives, but
this is not reported here. The key research questions relate
to the way in which the young consumer is educated, both
formally and informally, and what the possibilities and
perspectives are for consumer education. Introductory
research is discussed, followed by a presentation and
discussion of key issues for consumer education, such as
household management, consumption, home economics
and education. Finally, three examples are described and
discussed which demonstrate how the advocated principles
of consumer education and empowerment can be put into
practice. These examples are based on developmental work
carried out in lower secondary schools and teacher training
courses.
Keywords Consumer education, consumer behaviour, con-
sumption, household management.
Introduction
This article begins with some introductory comments
concerning consumption and consumer education
which were part of a research project: consumer educa-
tion in school, home and society, a survey of children
and adolescents’ establishment of a consumer culture
Correspondence
Jette Benn, Department of Curriculum Research, The Danish University
of Education, Emdrupvej 101, DK 2400 Copenhagen NV, Denmark.
E-mail: Benn@dpu.dk
Perspectives on consumer education • J. Benn
have been researched too, mainly by psychologists,
anthropologists and sociologists. These works deal both
with the meaning of consumption as part of culture
and as part of an individual’s aesthetic expression and
existential understanding.5–9
The current study was
inspired both by these studies and by studies within
consumer education as seen from a home economics’
viewpoint.10–12
Theoretical background: housekeeping,
consumption and home economics
‘Housekeeping means: to use what you have in order to
get what you want’
According to tradition, this sentiment was expressed
around 100 years ago by the famous Danish home econ-
omist Magdalene Lauridsen, founder of one of the first
home economics schools for girls and a home econom-
ics’ teacher training college. This described what good
housekeeping was, and perhaps is, all about and what
should be taught. Teachers should be taught to econo-
mize, to make good use of all materials in the most
prudent way, so that they will be able to teach pupils to
do the same in their turn.To act prudently implies many
things: knowing, thinking, doing, acting in a way which
makes one able and capable of managing a household,
‘to home economize’, or whatever name we give those
actions. One way of describing it might be to ‘act as edu-
cated consumers’. This is also the perspective for this
article and part of my current research on consumption
and consumer education.
Consumption and consumer education is part of the
home economics field. This can be seen in the changes
of course title and journals of home economics in many
countries from home economics, domestic science
or household science to ‘consumer and leisure studies’
or ‘family and consumer studies’ (England and US) or
‘home economics and consumer studies’ (Sweden).13–15
Home economics deals with home, families and house-
holds – the everyday life perspective. Household life in
modern Western societies nowadays deals to a great
extent with consumption: indeed, for some people it
seems to be the overall mission of their lives.To survive
and stay alive it is necessary to consume. The modern
consumer society or, as Giddens puts it, late-modern
society we are part of today has a major impact on our
lives as individuals, families and households.16
Despite
the emphasis nowadays being on the consumer and her
consumption behaviour, it can be postulated that we are
also, to a certain degree, producers. We are not just
passive consumers but, as we consume we act, react and
interact. How, why and when we carry out these actions
depends on who we are,our needs and attitudes towards
consumption and action and our skills or abilities to
‘produce’. As Orvar Lofgren points out, there is a need
‘for seeing consumption as cultural production and con-
sumers as actors rather than objects.’17
Consumer – consumption/production
‘In the old days a ladle (a long handled spoon for
cooking) was a ladle and it was made of wood’18
The Danish consumer researcher Karen Gredal meant
by this statement that in the old days the consumer
knew all there was to know about the product. The
material used was well-known and had proved its
usefulness over many years, users knew all about the
quality and how to keep the tool in good shape, they
knew what food it would be used for and how to use up
every scrap of the food in question. Nowadays in the
western world, and indeed world-wide, thousands of
different new materials and foodstuffs are on sale and
used in households in the modern or late-modern world.
It is quite impossible to be ‘a prudent, knowledgeable
consumer’. Foods can be split into microunits and put
together in quite new ways unknown in earlier times.
Today’s society is, as Giddens and Ulrich Beck have
called it, a ‘risk society’.19,20
In addition to the risks we
experienced in the past as citizens or consumers, there
are now new risks. Our foods may be genetically modi-
fied, polluted or filled with unknown additives: the con-
sumer has to cope with all of this. We have to deal with
‘the dangerous consumer society’ – this is the title of the
book edited by Graae, 1971, where Gredal is quoted.
How can we confront those dangers at personal, insti-
tutional and societal level?
It is useful here to consider three or four paradigms
in relation to the consumer society. The first three are
derived from political, economic and consumer policies
and philosophies.21–23
The first paradigm is grounded in
170
| International Journal of Consumer Studies, 26, 3, September 2002, pp169–177 © 2002 Blackwell Science Ltd
Perspectives on consumer education • J. Benn
liberal economic thinking, and states that consumers are
sovereign. You could call this the consumer-regulated
society paradigm. In modern times you might describe
the central figure of this model as the ‘political con-
sumer’, who chooses and thereby determines the
market. The second paradigm suggests that all power is
in the hands of the producers, nowadays the multi-
national companies or WTA (World Trade Association).
This means the producers are superior and decide what
we can buy and how to consume.A third paradigm says
that neither of the two parties may put themselves
forward as superior and prudent. We need a legalized
society, which sets the regulations for producers as well
as providing legislation to protect consumers, because
consumers and producers do not operate at comparable
levels. The fourth paradigm is an utopia – an ecological
or oiko-political model where both partners act in con-
siderate ways within the framework of global legislation
meeting basic needs for all, now and for the next
generations.
To return to reality, our society encompasses homes
and households which display the following character-
istics according to Giddens, Mitchell and Ritzer.24–26
These are:
∑ McDonaldization
∑ globalization
∑ privatisation
∑ deregulation
The characteristics demonstrate that the first three
paradigms mentioned above are represented in society
today, and all of these tendencies are part of ‘the dan-
gerous consumer society’. They have an impact on
private households or homes, the places where con-
sumers live and consume on the one hand. On the other
hand, consumers also act as producers within their
homes. They can produce quite complex products from
basic materials. For instance, they can grow potatoes,
harvest them, prepare them as a sophisticated meal, or
they can store them to use later by preserving them in
some way. In other words, individual consumers
also produce on a smaller or larger scale. ‘Out’ in the
(risk-) society the same people act as consumers with
greater or lesser success, either actively or passively.The
point of this differentiation is to clarify the relationship
between the role of consumer and the role of producer
connected to both home and society, to oikos and polis,
if you draw on the concepts from ancient Greek society
as used by the American home economics researcher,
Patricia Thompson. Thompson’s model for this theory
shows oikos as isolated, but related to polis or society.
If we use the terms as defined by Habermas.27
Homes
and household are embedded within society, or the life
world is surrounded by the system world This is illus-
trated in Fig. 1.28
Here, society or polis must be under-
stood as all those different spheres or levels surrounding
us, with governmental or political institutions and the
market as well. A further discussion of the oikos-polis
theme can be found in the work of Thompson and of
Benn (primarily in Danish).29,30
Seen from the individ-
ual’s perspective, he or she acts as consumer outside the
home in society, at the market, and acts as producer
and/or consumer within the home. This double per-
spective is (for the author at least) also essential for
consumer education.
The function of education
School may be considered as a societal institution which
has the purpose of educating human beings to enable
them to act in home and society. Formal education is
based on schooling and the relationship between pupil,
© 2002 Blackwell Science Ltd International Journal of Consumer Studies, 26, 3, September 2002, pp169–177
| 171
Figure 1. Connection between household-society and con-
sumer-producer (Benn, 2000).
Perspectives on consumer education • J. Benn
teacher and content – the didactical or educational
triangle. This triangle is influenced by cultural and his-
torical dimensions. As already mentioned in the intro-
duction, consumer education has always been part of
the curriculum for home economics to a greater or
lesser extent, but the word ‘consumer’ was first men-
tioned in Danish schools legislation in 1975. From 1975
the syllabus was formulated mainly on the basis of the
first paradigm, that consumers are sovereign and are
able to make choices as rational and informed con-
sumers according to their own needs, just so long as they
get sufficient information.
Today consumer issues form part of the core
proficiency areas, both in home economics’ teacher
training and within home economics in basic school
education (primary and secondary school) according
to the core curriculum from 1995 and 1996 for home
economics teacher education. Consumer issues are
part of these syllabuses but are not mentioned explic-
itly as part of other subjects, though they might be
dealt with in many other subjects – in Danish, for
example, as part of the text analysis of advertisements.
Consumer education may also be introduced as a
cross-curricular theme between subjects, or as a sub-
ject area within project work, which is a compulsory
part of Danish school education according to the
legislation.
The aim of education as such is ‘to further the pupils’
acquisition of knowledge, skills, working methods and
ways of expressing themselves and thus contribute to
the all-round personal development of the individual
pupil’ according to The Danish ‘Folkeskole’ Act §1.1.31
The overall aim is that pupils and students obtain active
competencies in a number of fields or become empow-
ered to act as citizens in a democratic society.32–34
In other words, pupils and teacher undergo Bildung, to
use a German word which has a different and broader
meaning from simply education. It encompasses a
socialization process with an emancipatory and critical
angle and is not just a behaviourist way of thinking.This
must also be the aim of consumer education,so it cannot
differ from the aim of education as such. To use the
Canadian home economist Eleanore Vaines’ expres-
sion, the aim of consumer education must be to produce
an ‘eco-centred’ or eco-caring teacher and pupil or
human being.35
Vaines mentions three different teacher
orientations, ‘the eco-centred, the ego-centric or the
uncommitted’. These philosophical orientations are
formed through teacher education and also form part of
the individual teacher’s value system.The uncommitted
teacher offers her knowledge without advancing her
own opinion. The ego-centric and eco-centred orienta-
tions are discussed further below.
Consumer education
As for all forms of education, consumer education is
based on the educational triangle pupil, teacher and
content, viewed from the perspective of today and
tomorrow. Formerly, consumer education could be
summed up in the words of Lauridsen quoted above
‘To use what you have in order to get what you want’,
which could be interpreted as a very narrow, ego-centric
way of seeing consumer education. Since the consumer
cannot necessarily see beyond the end of his or her nose,
this produces the ego-centric consumer. This is a form
of consumer education where you do not go beyond the
product but see it only in terms of your needs, here and
now. This sort of consumer education is useful for the
single person or family in a limited sense. He or she
has become an ‘educated consumer’, knowing about
labelling and the properties of washing machines which,
while this can be a necessary part of consumer educa-
tion, cannot stand alone. This has to be expanded or
supplemented by a wider form of consumer education
which goes beyond the fulfilment of personal needs and
takes into account the ‘complete history’ of the goods
and the circumstances under which they have been
produced, as illustrated in Fig. 2. This is reflected in the
consumer content of the Danish curriculum, both in
teacher education and education at primary and lower
secondary level. In the core proficiency areas perspec-
tives concerning ‘resources and environment’ and ‘for
health and life-equality’ and ‘ethical considerations’,
must all be related to the core issue: consumption; in
addition, ‘societal and technological aspects’ must be
considered, as well as ‘historical, cultural and social
aspects’ together with ‘aesthetic and sensory aspects’
(Ministry of Education, 1995).36
Some examples are given here as to how such objec-
tives may be achieved.These were developed as projects
at grade 6 and at teacher training courses.37
As discussed
172
| International Journal of Consumer Studies, 26, 3, September 2002, pp169–177 © 2002 Blackwell Science Ltd
Perspectives on consumer education • J. Benn
earlier, human beings may be seen solely as consumers,
active or passive (as illustrated in Figs 1 and 2) or as
both consumers and producers within the home or
household. To be able to produce within the home it is
necessary to act as critical consumers. If you are not able
to master different processes, you will not be able to
respond to demands due to lack of inside information
or knowledge about how to produce, or to raise politi-
cal questions concerning production. So it is necessary
in consumer education to work with both the consumer
and producer roles, to learn and gain experience in the
field.Two examples of teaching from the pilot study can
illustrate the possibilities, with a third example building
on work carried out previously.38
Examples
Being a producer – example 1 – or how to get into the
producer’s mind
A way of getting into the producer role could be to
choose a popular fast food product such as the Kinder-
milchschnitte (children’s milk-slice).This snack is adver-
tised on television as a filling healthy meal for children.
The pupils are then asked to become the ‘Curious
Camera’, which was the title of a Danish television
program for pupils aged 8–12. What that means is that
they should examine the product, test the claims of
healthiness, try to reveal the complete history behind
the product, analyse the contents and manufacturing
processes. The next step is to make a similar product
based on the detective work they have carried out by
carefully reading the label. Finally, the students make
suggestions for alternatives to the Kindermilchschnitte
and make a critical assessment of whether the product
is needed or not.
Being a consumer and a producer – example 2
Another way of working is to set up a dialogue with stu-
dents which encompasses common problems in their
lives as consumers. One such problem might be about
working out satisfactory possibilities for lunch. The
problems might be:
∑ lack of time or energy to prepare lunch at home to
take to school;
∑ products in the tuck shop being too expensive or of
low quality.
The proposed solution is to work with this problem
by producing and testing a good bread product, which
could be used for sale in the school tuck shop and which
could fulfil the need for a satisfactory meal for the
students at a reasonable price. The task requires a
number of different comparisons and analyses:
© 2002 Blackwell Science Ltd International Journal of Consumer Studies, 26, 3, September 2002, pp169–177
| 173
Figure 2. Eco-centred political consumer
(Benn, 2001).
Perspectives on consumer education • J. Benn
∑ products: necessary ingredients, quantities, quality
(ecological/traditional, brands);
∑ processes: fast/slow;
∑ appearance, taste, aroma;
∑ packaging, labelling, conserving, storing;
∑ prices: costs, profit.
Similar examples of this approach can be seen in the
work of Grada Hellman-Tuitert, Gerda Tornieporth
and, to a lesser degree, in the English material for
Design and Technology.39–41
The task demands a variety of skills, knowledge,
action and discussion of aesthetic, ethical, ecological
and economical issues. Eventually a project like this
may raise demands at the school or community level for
better catering conditions for pupils when attending
the school. In its most successful form the task can
support political education, citizenship or eco-political
education. To use the terms established by Habermas,
the pupils acquire communicative competencies in
their life world which enable them to overcome barri-
ers to the systems world.42
Such communicative com-
petencies may also encompass practical, aesthetical and
other communicative acts in a broad sense of the
concept.
Being a consumer and producer – example 3
The example using bread can also be carried out in a
more historical and critical way. In in-service teacher
training and education in Denmark, the potato or bread
have been used as examples to reflect how homes,
households and society have changed as far as con-
sumption and production are concerned. By choosing
meals and staple foods from today and in the past – for
example 100 years ago – students are able to identify
and research the differences in production methods, the
materials and tools used in households and in society.
The project can illustrate how staples have become less
important in the diet in the late-modern society with a
consequent growth in meat consumption. ‘The hot
potato’ and ‘The good bread’ are examples of projects
which were developed as part of teacher education by
Benn and Haastrup (descriptions available only in
Danish). While there is not space available here to
report on them in detail, the main focus of these pro-
jects was to offer the opportunity for discussions such
as the following:
∑ why did/do we use staple foods as we do today and
yesterday?
∑ who chooses and decides what is eaten?
∑ how was/is production carried out and by whom?
∑ how do dietary changes influence our lives and the
environment?
Final remarks and recommendations
In earlier times there was a need for the work of chil-
dren and young people in the household, but in late-
modern society the necessity for this has diminished in
the more affluent parts of the world. In certain social
groups this was always the case, but for the majority of
households in previous centuries children were a posi-
tive productive resource. Now, on the other hand, chil-
dren have become a positive consuming force, as can
be seen in advertisements, shops and from the research
produced by commercial organizations mentioned
earlier. In late modern society consumerism is in the
ascendant, operating on a global scale. Ziehe and
Stubenrauch have described this process as the
Tradierung of culture, or departure from the old cultural
norms and traditions.The consequence of this is that the
individual now has the freedom to select the role of his
or her choice. Formerly, the old cultural norms taught
the individual how to manage their lives, to dress, eat
and behave. Nowadays you can choose to be the ecolo-
gist one day, the global consumer the next without any
thoughts of environmental perspectives.The choices are
legion.That means freedom, but at the same time exerts
pressure on the individual.43
The pressure has to do with
the responsibility of choosing between identities, which
were chosen for you before, and the need to keep up
with trends and accommodate yourself to different
environments.
Consumption as such has a lot of meaning for the
individual and his self-image and has become a way for
human beings to communicate and mix with others, as
well.44
Consumption has become part of the way in
which children are brought up and their socialization,
and thus has an impact on their identity and self-
perception.
174
| International Journal of Consumer Studies, 26, 3, September 2002, pp169–177 © 2002 Blackwell Science Ltd
Perspectives on consumer education • J. Benn
There is a contrast or a dichotomy between the com-
mercial world and its offers of miracle products and
easy solutions, and consumer education, which has
empowerment as the ultimate goal. Consumer educa-
tion stands, so to speak in the tension between con-
sumership and citizenship, therefore consumer
socialization and consumer education are central
themes to be considered and researched, especially for
home economics educators.
But the future for education must also be considered
from geographical, cultural and historical viewpoints.
Teachers educated in the last century need to consider
how to educate pupils for coping with the 21st century.
Viewed from this perspective, schools might have three
reasons for their existence in the future:
∑ school as a survival centre,
∑ school as a centre for the maintenance of cultural
traditions,
∑ school as a laboratory for living and the challenges
of life.
All these three reasons should be taken into consid-
eration in the planning of education as such, and also
consumer education.
Consumer education must be a part of subject areas
and cross-curricular projects with ‘empowerment of the
consumer, . . . as the ultimate objective of consumer edu-
cation.’ As Goldsmith and McGregor have said, this can
be seen ‘as an enormous challenge in the global elec-
tronic marketplace.’45
But consumer education has to
take into account what is possible and what is desirable,
why and how. The single individual cannot act as a
political consumer on his or her own, nor make home
and society a harmoniously caring place to live in. So
the fourth and final model which was presented earlier
is therefore no more than a pipe dream, a utopia, as
illustrated in Fig. 3.46
This demands effort not only at
individual level, but also collectively and globally. But
this is necessary if there is to be a future for coming
generations.
In conclusion, let us return to the first quotation
‘Housekeeping means: to use what you have in order to
get what you want’. This ought to be changed to ‘House-
keeping means: to question what you need and to “ecol-
ogize” in order to get what you and others might want’.
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ness, Efficiency and Equity. Chapman & Hall, London.
34. Benn, J. (1996) Kost i skolen – skolekost II. En under-
søgelse af forhold, tilbud og muligheder i forbindelse
med skolernes undervisning i kost og sundhed. Anvendt
naturfag,frikadellesløjd eller sundhedsbiks Danmarks
Lærerhøjskole, Copenhagen. (PhDThesis in Danish with
English summaries).
35. Vaines, E. (1990) Philosophical orientations and home
economics: an introduction. Canadian Home Economics
Journ, 40 (1), 6–11.
36. see, 31.
37. Benn, J. (2000c) Developmental Works as Part of
Research. Skolefg, læring og dannelse, Arbejdspapir 31.
Danmarks Lärerhöjskole, Köbenhavn (English working
paper from a research program).
176
| International Journal of Consumer Studies, 26, 3, September 2002, pp169–177 © 2002 Blackwell Science Ltd
Perspectives on consumer education • J. Benn
38. Benn, J. & Haastrup, L. (1986) En varm kartoffel 1–3.
(The hot potato) Danmarks Laererhöjskole (in Danish).
39. Hellman-Tuitert, G. (1999) Promoting Consumer Educa-
tion in Schools. Stockholm, Divs, Swedish Consumer
Agency, 1999, 518.
40. Department of Education and Science (1988) Technol-
ogy in Schools, Developments in Craft, Design and
Technology HMSO, London.
41. Tornieporth, G. (1985) Fast Food Ein Unterrichtsmodell
Verbraucherbildung in Schulen Stiftung Verbraucher
Institut. Verlag Julius Klinkhardt, Berlin.
42. see 27.
43. Ziehe, T. & Stubenrauch, H. (1982) Plädoyer für
Ungewöhnliches Lernen: Ideen Zur Jugendsituation.
Rowohlt, Reinbek, Germany.
44. Benn, J. (2001) Consumption on my mind. Preliminary
results of a pilot survey. Presentation at the Nordic
Dialogue Seminar at the Consumer Board 9th of
November 2001, Copenhagen.
45. Goldsmith, E. & McGregor, S. (2000) E-commerce:
consumer protection issues and implications for research
and education. Journal of Consumer Studies and Home
Economics, 24, 124–127.
46. See 28.
© 2002 Blackwell Science Ltd International Journal of Consumer Studies, 26, 3, September 2002, pp169–177
| 177

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Paper 1 consumer education ed. considerations and perspectives_benn[2002]

  • 1. © 2002 Blackwell Science Ltd International Journal of Consumer Studies, 26, 3, September 2002, pp169–177 | 169 Consumer education: educational considerations and perspectives Jette Benn The Danish University of Education, Emdrupvej 101, DK 2400 Copenhagen NV, Denmark and the meaning of this for identity, learning and teach- ing.1 The project has been funded partly by the Danish Ministry of Commerce; it is one of eight within the main theme: young people and consumption. The main research questions in this project were: ∑ What do children and adolescents understand by consumption and how do they perform as consumers? ∑ What questions does this raise for consumer educa- tion concerning aims, content and competencies? ∑ How can the perspective of the household be kept in focus? The relationship between the household, household production and consumption is interesting for people involved in this field. Furthermore, it is essential to understand the meaning of consumption for the younger generation as well as for the private household, and not just concentrate on the heavily researched public or commercial view. A definition of the aims of consumer research from this angle can be seen at the web-page for the Institute for Marketing, South-Danish University: ‘As far as the subject matter of consumer research is concerned, emphasis should be placed on casting light on those different aspects of consumer behaviour which are manifested at individual, market and societal level.’2 Until now most research has been aimed primarily at gaining an understanding of how consumers act and react for the benefit of producers or society. Recently children and young people have been put on the research agenda in Denmark and the Nordic countries in their roles as consumers. Examples of this research were presented at a seminar in Copenhagen in June 2001 under the title ‘Children’s Socialization as Consumers and their Perception of Advertising’.3,4 In addition, two seminars have taken place which dealt with the same issue, but from different angles – both were initiated by the Danish Consumer Board. The sociological and psychological aspects of consumption Abstract This paper examines questions concerning consumer education in relation to consumption and household man- agement. It is based partly on literature studies and partly on a current pilot study, also on studies carried out in the classroom and developmental work in schools and on teacher training courses. The pilot study on consumer edu- cation is being carried out in Denmark and is funded by the Danish Ministry of Business Affairs. Another part of the study concerns a qualitative investigation of pupils’ under- standings of consumption and its meaning in their lives, but this is not reported here. The key research questions relate to the way in which the young consumer is educated, both formally and informally, and what the possibilities and perspectives are for consumer education. Introductory research is discussed, followed by a presentation and discussion of key issues for consumer education, such as household management, consumption, home economics and education. Finally, three examples are described and discussed which demonstrate how the advocated principles of consumer education and empowerment can be put into practice. These examples are based on developmental work carried out in lower secondary schools and teacher training courses. Keywords Consumer education, consumer behaviour, con- sumption, household management. Introduction This article begins with some introductory comments concerning consumption and consumer education which were part of a research project: consumer educa- tion in school, home and society, a survey of children and adolescents’ establishment of a consumer culture Correspondence Jette Benn, Department of Curriculum Research, The Danish University of Education, Emdrupvej 101, DK 2400 Copenhagen NV, Denmark. E-mail: Benn@dpu.dk
  • 2. Perspectives on consumer education • J. Benn have been researched too, mainly by psychologists, anthropologists and sociologists. These works deal both with the meaning of consumption as part of culture and as part of an individual’s aesthetic expression and existential understanding.5–9 The current study was inspired both by these studies and by studies within consumer education as seen from a home economics’ viewpoint.10–12 Theoretical background: housekeeping, consumption and home economics ‘Housekeeping means: to use what you have in order to get what you want’ According to tradition, this sentiment was expressed around 100 years ago by the famous Danish home econ- omist Magdalene Lauridsen, founder of one of the first home economics schools for girls and a home econom- ics’ teacher training college. This described what good housekeeping was, and perhaps is, all about and what should be taught. Teachers should be taught to econo- mize, to make good use of all materials in the most prudent way, so that they will be able to teach pupils to do the same in their turn.To act prudently implies many things: knowing, thinking, doing, acting in a way which makes one able and capable of managing a household, ‘to home economize’, or whatever name we give those actions. One way of describing it might be to ‘act as edu- cated consumers’. This is also the perspective for this article and part of my current research on consumption and consumer education. Consumption and consumer education is part of the home economics field. This can be seen in the changes of course title and journals of home economics in many countries from home economics, domestic science or household science to ‘consumer and leisure studies’ or ‘family and consumer studies’ (England and US) or ‘home economics and consumer studies’ (Sweden).13–15 Home economics deals with home, families and house- holds – the everyday life perspective. Household life in modern Western societies nowadays deals to a great extent with consumption: indeed, for some people it seems to be the overall mission of their lives.To survive and stay alive it is necessary to consume. The modern consumer society or, as Giddens puts it, late-modern society we are part of today has a major impact on our lives as individuals, families and households.16 Despite the emphasis nowadays being on the consumer and her consumption behaviour, it can be postulated that we are also, to a certain degree, producers. We are not just passive consumers but, as we consume we act, react and interact. How, why and when we carry out these actions depends on who we are,our needs and attitudes towards consumption and action and our skills or abilities to ‘produce’. As Orvar Lofgren points out, there is a need ‘for seeing consumption as cultural production and con- sumers as actors rather than objects.’17 Consumer – consumption/production ‘In the old days a ladle (a long handled spoon for cooking) was a ladle and it was made of wood’18 The Danish consumer researcher Karen Gredal meant by this statement that in the old days the consumer knew all there was to know about the product. The material used was well-known and had proved its usefulness over many years, users knew all about the quality and how to keep the tool in good shape, they knew what food it would be used for and how to use up every scrap of the food in question. Nowadays in the western world, and indeed world-wide, thousands of different new materials and foodstuffs are on sale and used in households in the modern or late-modern world. It is quite impossible to be ‘a prudent, knowledgeable consumer’. Foods can be split into microunits and put together in quite new ways unknown in earlier times. Today’s society is, as Giddens and Ulrich Beck have called it, a ‘risk society’.19,20 In addition to the risks we experienced in the past as citizens or consumers, there are now new risks. Our foods may be genetically modi- fied, polluted or filled with unknown additives: the con- sumer has to cope with all of this. We have to deal with ‘the dangerous consumer society’ – this is the title of the book edited by Graae, 1971, where Gredal is quoted. How can we confront those dangers at personal, insti- tutional and societal level? It is useful here to consider three or four paradigms in relation to the consumer society. The first three are derived from political, economic and consumer policies and philosophies.21–23 The first paradigm is grounded in 170 | International Journal of Consumer Studies, 26, 3, September 2002, pp169–177 © 2002 Blackwell Science Ltd
  • 3. Perspectives on consumer education • J. Benn liberal economic thinking, and states that consumers are sovereign. You could call this the consumer-regulated society paradigm. In modern times you might describe the central figure of this model as the ‘political con- sumer’, who chooses and thereby determines the market. The second paradigm suggests that all power is in the hands of the producers, nowadays the multi- national companies or WTA (World Trade Association). This means the producers are superior and decide what we can buy and how to consume.A third paradigm says that neither of the two parties may put themselves forward as superior and prudent. We need a legalized society, which sets the regulations for producers as well as providing legislation to protect consumers, because consumers and producers do not operate at comparable levels. The fourth paradigm is an utopia – an ecological or oiko-political model where both partners act in con- siderate ways within the framework of global legislation meeting basic needs for all, now and for the next generations. To return to reality, our society encompasses homes and households which display the following character- istics according to Giddens, Mitchell and Ritzer.24–26 These are: ∑ McDonaldization ∑ globalization ∑ privatisation ∑ deregulation The characteristics demonstrate that the first three paradigms mentioned above are represented in society today, and all of these tendencies are part of ‘the dan- gerous consumer society’. They have an impact on private households or homes, the places where con- sumers live and consume on the one hand. On the other hand, consumers also act as producers within their homes. They can produce quite complex products from basic materials. For instance, they can grow potatoes, harvest them, prepare them as a sophisticated meal, or they can store them to use later by preserving them in some way. In other words, individual consumers also produce on a smaller or larger scale. ‘Out’ in the (risk-) society the same people act as consumers with greater or lesser success, either actively or passively.The point of this differentiation is to clarify the relationship between the role of consumer and the role of producer connected to both home and society, to oikos and polis, if you draw on the concepts from ancient Greek society as used by the American home economics researcher, Patricia Thompson. Thompson’s model for this theory shows oikos as isolated, but related to polis or society. If we use the terms as defined by Habermas.27 Homes and household are embedded within society, or the life world is surrounded by the system world This is illus- trated in Fig. 1.28 Here, society or polis must be under- stood as all those different spheres or levels surrounding us, with governmental or political institutions and the market as well. A further discussion of the oikos-polis theme can be found in the work of Thompson and of Benn (primarily in Danish).29,30 Seen from the individ- ual’s perspective, he or she acts as consumer outside the home in society, at the market, and acts as producer and/or consumer within the home. This double per- spective is (for the author at least) also essential for consumer education. The function of education School may be considered as a societal institution which has the purpose of educating human beings to enable them to act in home and society. Formal education is based on schooling and the relationship between pupil, © 2002 Blackwell Science Ltd International Journal of Consumer Studies, 26, 3, September 2002, pp169–177 | 171 Figure 1. Connection between household-society and con- sumer-producer (Benn, 2000).
  • 4. Perspectives on consumer education • J. Benn teacher and content – the didactical or educational triangle. This triangle is influenced by cultural and his- torical dimensions. As already mentioned in the intro- duction, consumer education has always been part of the curriculum for home economics to a greater or lesser extent, but the word ‘consumer’ was first men- tioned in Danish schools legislation in 1975. From 1975 the syllabus was formulated mainly on the basis of the first paradigm, that consumers are sovereign and are able to make choices as rational and informed con- sumers according to their own needs, just so long as they get sufficient information. Today consumer issues form part of the core proficiency areas, both in home economics’ teacher training and within home economics in basic school education (primary and secondary school) according to the core curriculum from 1995 and 1996 for home economics teacher education. Consumer issues are part of these syllabuses but are not mentioned explic- itly as part of other subjects, though they might be dealt with in many other subjects – in Danish, for example, as part of the text analysis of advertisements. Consumer education may also be introduced as a cross-curricular theme between subjects, or as a sub- ject area within project work, which is a compulsory part of Danish school education according to the legislation. The aim of education as such is ‘to further the pupils’ acquisition of knowledge, skills, working methods and ways of expressing themselves and thus contribute to the all-round personal development of the individual pupil’ according to The Danish ‘Folkeskole’ Act §1.1.31 The overall aim is that pupils and students obtain active competencies in a number of fields or become empow- ered to act as citizens in a democratic society.32–34 In other words, pupils and teacher undergo Bildung, to use a German word which has a different and broader meaning from simply education. It encompasses a socialization process with an emancipatory and critical angle and is not just a behaviourist way of thinking.This must also be the aim of consumer education,so it cannot differ from the aim of education as such. To use the Canadian home economist Eleanore Vaines’ expres- sion, the aim of consumer education must be to produce an ‘eco-centred’ or eco-caring teacher and pupil or human being.35 Vaines mentions three different teacher orientations, ‘the eco-centred, the ego-centric or the uncommitted’. These philosophical orientations are formed through teacher education and also form part of the individual teacher’s value system.The uncommitted teacher offers her knowledge without advancing her own opinion. The ego-centric and eco-centred orienta- tions are discussed further below. Consumer education As for all forms of education, consumer education is based on the educational triangle pupil, teacher and content, viewed from the perspective of today and tomorrow. Formerly, consumer education could be summed up in the words of Lauridsen quoted above ‘To use what you have in order to get what you want’, which could be interpreted as a very narrow, ego-centric way of seeing consumer education. Since the consumer cannot necessarily see beyond the end of his or her nose, this produces the ego-centric consumer. This is a form of consumer education where you do not go beyond the product but see it only in terms of your needs, here and now. This sort of consumer education is useful for the single person or family in a limited sense. He or she has become an ‘educated consumer’, knowing about labelling and the properties of washing machines which, while this can be a necessary part of consumer educa- tion, cannot stand alone. This has to be expanded or supplemented by a wider form of consumer education which goes beyond the fulfilment of personal needs and takes into account the ‘complete history’ of the goods and the circumstances under which they have been produced, as illustrated in Fig. 2. This is reflected in the consumer content of the Danish curriculum, both in teacher education and education at primary and lower secondary level. In the core proficiency areas perspec- tives concerning ‘resources and environment’ and ‘for health and life-equality’ and ‘ethical considerations’, must all be related to the core issue: consumption; in addition, ‘societal and technological aspects’ must be considered, as well as ‘historical, cultural and social aspects’ together with ‘aesthetic and sensory aspects’ (Ministry of Education, 1995).36 Some examples are given here as to how such objec- tives may be achieved.These were developed as projects at grade 6 and at teacher training courses.37 As discussed 172 | International Journal of Consumer Studies, 26, 3, September 2002, pp169–177 © 2002 Blackwell Science Ltd
  • 5. Perspectives on consumer education • J. Benn earlier, human beings may be seen solely as consumers, active or passive (as illustrated in Figs 1 and 2) or as both consumers and producers within the home or household. To be able to produce within the home it is necessary to act as critical consumers. If you are not able to master different processes, you will not be able to respond to demands due to lack of inside information or knowledge about how to produce, or to raise politi- cal questions concerning production. So it is necessary in consumer education to work with both the consumer and producer roles, to learn and gain experience in the field.Two examples of teaching from the pilot study can illustrate the possibilities, with a third example building on work carried out previously.38 Examples Being a producer – example 1 – or how to get into the producer’s mind A way of getting into the producer role could be to choose a popular fast food product such as the Kinder- milchschnitte (children’s milk-slice).This snack is adver- tised on television as a filling healthy meal for children. The pupils are then asked to become the ‘Curious Camera’, which was the title of a Danish television program for pupils aged 8–12. What that means is that they should examine the product, test the claims of healthiness, try to reveal the complete history behind the product, analyse the contents and manufacturing processes. The next step is to make a similar product based on the detective work they have carried out by carefully reading the label. Finally, the students make suggestions for alternatives to the Kindermilchschnitte and make a critical assessment of whether the product is needed or not. Being a consumer and a producer – example 2 Another way of working is to set up a dialogue with stu- dents which encompasses common problems in their lives as consumers. One such problem might be about working out satisfactory possibilities for lunch. The problems might be: ∑ lack of time or energy to prepare lunch at home to take to school; ∑ products in the tuck shop being too expensive or of low quality. The proposed solution is to work with this problem by producing and testing a good bread product, which could be used for sale in the school tuck shop and which could fulfil the need for a satisfactory meal for the students at a reasonable price. The task requires a number of different comparisons and analyses: © 2002 Blackwell Science Ltd International Journal of Consumer Studies, 26, 3, September 2002, pp169–177 | 173 Figure 2. Eco-centred political consumer (Benn, 2001).
  • 6. Perspectives on consumer education • J. Benn ∑ products: necessary ingredients, quantities, quality (ecological/traditional, brands); ∑ processes: fast/slow; ∑ appearance, taste, aroma; ∑ packaging, labelling, conserving, storing; ∑ prices: costs, profit. Similar examples of this approach can be seen in the work of Grada Hellman-Tuitert, Gerda Tornieporth and, to a lesser degree, in the English material for Design and Technology.39–41 The task demands a variety of skills, knowledge, action and discussion of aesthetic, ethical, ecological and economical issues. Eventually a project like this may raise demands at the school or community level for better catering conditions for pupils when attending the school. In its most successful form the task can support political education, citizenship or eco-political education. To use the terms established by Habermas, the pupils acquire communicative competencies in their life world which enable them to overcome barri- ers to the systems world.42 Such communicative com- petencies may also encompass practical, aesthetical and other communicative acts in a broad sense of the concept. Being a consumer and producer – example 3 The example using bread can also be carried out in a more historical and critical way. In in-service teacher training and education in Denmark, the potato or bread have been used as examples to reflect how homes, households and society have changed as far as con- sumption and production are concerned. By choosing meals and staple foods from today and in the past – for example 100 years ago – students are able to identify and research the differences in production methods, the materials and tools used in households and in society. The project can illustrate how staples have become less important in the diet in the late-modern society with a consequent growth in meat consumption. ‘The hot potato’ and ‘The good bread’ are examples of projects which were developed as part of teacher education by Benn and Haastrup (descriptions available only in Danish). While there is not space available here to report on them in detail, the main focus of these pro- jects was to offer the opportunity for discussions such as the following: ∑ why did/do we use staple foods as we do today and yesterday? ∑ who chooses and decides what is eaten? ∑ how was/is production carried out and by whom? ∑ how do dietary changes influence our lives and the environment? Final remarks and recommendations In earlier times there was a need for the work of chil- dren and young people in the household, but in late- modern society the necessity for this has diminished in the more affluent parts of the world. In certain social groups this was always the case, but for the majority of households in previous centuries children were a posi- tive productive resource. Now, on the other hand, chil- dren have become a positive consuming force, as can be seen in advertisements, shops and from the research produced by commercial organizations mentioned earlier. In late modern society consumerism is in the ascendant, operating on a global scale. Ziehe and Stubenrauch have described this process as the Tradierung of culture, or departure from the old cultural norms and traditions.The consequence of this is that the individual now has the freedom to select the role of his or her choice. Formerly, the old cultural norms taught the individual how to manage their lives, to dress, eat and behave. Nowadays you can choose to be the ecolo- gist one day, the global consumer the next without any thoughts of environmental perspectives.The choices are legion.That means freedom, but at the same time exerts pressure on the individual.43 The pressure has to do with the responsibility of choosing between identities, which were chosen for you before, and the need to keep up with trends and accommodate yourself to different environments. Consumption as such has a lot of meaning for the individual and his self-image and has become a way for human beings to communicate and mix with others, as well.44 Consumption has become part of the way in which children are brought up and their socialization, and thus has an impact on their identity and self- perception. 174 | International Journal of Consumer Studies, 26, 3, September 2002, pp169–177 © 2002 Blackwell Science Ltd
  • 7. Perspectives on consumer education • J. Benn There is a contrast or a dichotomy between the com- mercial world and its offers of miracle products and easy solutions, and consumer education, which has empowerment as the ultimate goal. Consumer educa- tion stands, so to speak in the tension between con- sumership and citizenship, therefore consumer socialization and consumer education are central themes to be considered and researched, especially for home economics educators. But the future for education must also be considered from geographical, cultural and historical viewpoints. Teachers educated in the last century need to consider how to educate pupils for coping with the 21st century. Viewed from this perspective, schools might have three reasons for their existence in the future: ∑ school as a survival centre, ∑ school as a centre for the maintenance of cultural traditions, ∑ school as a laboratory for living and the challenges of life. All these three reasons should be taken into consid- eration in the planning of education as such, and also consumer education. Consumer education must be a part of subject areas and cross-curricular projects with ‘empowerment of the consumer, . . . as the ultimate objective of consumer edu- cation.’ As Goldsmith and McGregor have said, this can be seen ‘as an enormous challenge in the global elec- tronic marketplace.’45 But consumer education has to take into account what is possible and what is desirable, why and how. The single individual cannot act as a political consumer on his or her own, nor make home and society a harmoniously caring place to live in. So the fourth and final model which was presented earlier is therefore no more than a pipe dream, a utopia, as illustrated in Fig. 3.46 This demands effort not only at individual level, but also collectively and globally. But this is necessary if there is to be a future for coming generations. In conclusion, let us return to the first quotation ‘Housekeeping means: to use what you have in order to get what you want’. This ought to be changed to ‘House- keeping means: to question what you need and to “ecol- ogize” in order to get what you and others might want’. References 1. Benn, J. (2000a) Research Description. Internal Paper, The Danish University of Education, Copenhagen. 2. South Danish University, Department of Marketing: Consumer Research – http://www.sam.sdu.dk/ Departments/mar/sdb3.html (in Danish). 3. Danish Children as Consumers and their Consumer Socialization (2002) (Ed. by Hansen, F. et al.) Forum for Advertising Research, Copenhagen Business School. 4. John, D.R. (1999) Consumer socialization of children: a retrospective look at twenty-five years of research. Journal of Consumer Research, 8 (1), 44–53. 5. Hearn, J. & Roseneil, S. (1999) Consuming Cultures: Power and Resistance. In: Consuming Cultures: Power and Resistance (Ed. by Hearn, J. & Roseneil, S.) pp. 17–41, MacMillan Press, London. 6. Jones, G. & Martin, C.D. (1999) The ‘Young Consumer’ at Home: Dependence, Resistance and Autonomy. In: Consuming Cultures: Power and Resistance (Ed. by Hearn, J. & Roseneil, S.)pp. 42–68, .MacMillan Press, London. © 2002 Blackwell Science Ltd International Journal of Consumer Studies, 26, 3, September 2002, pp169–177 | 175 Figure 3. Eco-political consumer-producer (Benn, 2001).
  • 8. Perspectives on consumer education • J. Benn 7. Campbell, C. (1990) Character and consumption: a Historical Action Theory Approach to the Understand- ing of Consumer Behaviour. In: Culture and History (Ed. by Lofgren, O.). Akademisk Forlag, Aarhus, pp. 37–48. 8. Elliott, R. (1997) Existential consumption and irrational desire. European Journal of Marketing, 31 (3/4), 285– 296. 9. Det konsumerande barnet. (The consuming child). (2001) (Ed. by Brembeck, H.) Etnologiska föreningen i Västsverige, Göteborg (in Swedish). 10. McGregor, S.L.T. (1999) Socializing consumers in a global marketplace. Journal of Consumer Studies and Home Economics, 23 (1), 37–45. 11. McGregor, S.L.T. & MacDonald, S. (1998) Critical think- ing in consumer studies: part 2 of a content analysis of Canadian University consumer studies courses. Journal of Consumer Studies and Home Economics, 22 (1), 3–14. 12. Benn, J. (2000b) Home Economics in 100 Years History, Perspectives and Challenges. Department of Biology, Geography and Home Economics. The Royal Danish School of Educational Studies, Copenhagen 13. Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, American Home Economics Association (new title of the former Home Economics Journal). 14. Hjälmeskog, K. (2001) Hem- och konsumentkunskap viktig del i alla elvers medborgarfostran. (Home and consumer science: an important part of all pupils’ citizenship). In: Hemkunskap I Skolan, 1, 14-17 (In Swedish) – for official documents see www.skolverket.se. 15. Skolverket (The National School Board in Sweden) www.skolverket.se (the new title for home economics has not been updated yet on the webpage). 16. Giddens, A. (1991) Modernity and Self-Identity Self Society in the Late Modern Age Polity Press, Cambridge. 17. Lofgren, O. (1990) Consuming Interests. In: Culture and History (Ed. by Lofgren, O.), pp. 7–36. Akademisk Forlag, Aarhus 18. Gredal, K. (1971) Hvem bestemmer hvad vi køber? (Who decides what we buy?). In: Det Farlige Forbrugersamfund (the Dangerous Consumer Society) (Ed. by Graae, B.): Det danske forlag, Albertslund (in Danish). 19. see 16. 20. Beck, U. (1992) Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity. Sage, London. 21. Jensen, H.R. (1984) Forbrugerpolitik Og Organiseret Forbrugerarbejde (Consumer policy and organised consumer work). Akademisk Forlag, Copenhagen, Denmark (in Danish. 22. Holdgaard, S.N. (1982) Forbrugerundervisning. (Consumer Education). In: Uddannelse, 15 (2), 100–108 (in Danish). 23. Steffens, H. (2000) Commerce in Consumer Education. Nice-Mail, 14, 13–16. 24. see 16. 25. Mitchell, A. (2000) Global brands or global blands? Journal of Consumer Studies and Home Economics, 24, 85–93. 26. Ritzer, G. (1993) The Mcdonaldization of Society. Pine Forge Press, Thousand Oaks, CA, USA. 27. Habermas, J. (1981) Theorie Des Kommunikativen Handelns I and II. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt, Germany. 28. Benn, J. (2001) Ways to handle consumer issues in school. Nice-Maility, 15, 14–17. 29. Thompson, P. (1992) Bringing Feminism Home Home Economics and the Hestian Connection Home Economics Publishing Collective, UPEI, USA. 30. Thompson, P. (1993) ‘Feminist Theory for Everyday Life.’In Youth, Family and Household Global Perspec- tives on Development and Quality of Life (Ed. by Kettschau, I., Methfessel, B. & Schmidt-Waldherr, H.) pp. 166–177, Schneider Verlag Hohengehren, Baltmannsweiler, Germany. 31. Ministry of Education (1996) Aims and Central Knowl- edge and Profiency Areas. The Danish Primary and Lower Secondary School. Copenhagen (Danish edition 1995) Documents in English can be found at the web-page: www.uvm.dk. 32. Action and Action Competence as Key Concepts in Critical Pedagogy. In Studies in Educational Theory and Curriculum, Vol. 12. (1994) (Ed. by Bruun Jensen, B. & Schnack, K.) Royal Danish School of Educational Studies, Copenhagen. 33. Tones, K. & Tilford, S. (1995) Health Education Effective- ness, Efficiency and Equity. Chapman & Hall, London. 34. Benn, J. (1996) Kost i skolen – skolekost II. En under- søgelse af forhold, tilbud og muligheder i forbindelse med skolernes undervisning i kost og sundhed. Anvendt naturfag,frikadellesløjd eller sundhedsbiks Danmarks Lærerhøjskole, Copenhagen. (PhDThesis in Danish with English summaries). 35. Vaines, E. (1990) Philosophical orientations and home economics: an introduction. Canadian Home Economics Journ, 40 (1), 6–11. 36. see, 31. 37. Benn, J. (2000c) Developmental Works as Part of Research. Skolefg, læring og dannelse, Arbejdspapir 31. Danmarks Lärerhöjskole, Köbenhavn (English working paper from a research program). 176 | International Journal of Consumer Studies, 26, 3, September 2002, pp169–177 © 2002 Blackwell Science Ltd
  • 9. Perspectives on consumer education • J. Benn 38. Benn, J. & Haastrup, L. (1986) En varm kartoffel 1–3. (The hot potato) Danmarks Laererhöjskole (in Danish). 39. Hellman-Tuitert, G. (1999) Promoting Consumer Educa- tion in Schools. Stockholm, Divs, Swedish Consumer Agency, 1999, 518. 40. Department of Education and Science (1988) Technol- ogy in Schools, Developments in Craft, Design and Technology HMSO, London. 41. Tornieporth, G. (1985) Fast Food Ein Unterrichtsmodell Verbraucherbildung in Schulen Stiftung Verbraucher Institut. Verlag Julius Klinkhardt, Berlin. 42. see 27. 43. Ziehe, T. & Stubenrauch, H. (1982) Plädoyer für Ungewöhnliches Lernen: Ideen Zur Jugendsituation. Rowohlt, Reinbek, Germany. 44. Benn, J. (2001) Consumption on my mind. Preliminary results of a pilot survey. Presentation at the Nordic Dialogue Seminar at the Consumer Board 9th of November 2001, Copenhagen. 45. Goldsmith, E. & McGregor, S. (2000) E-commerce: consumer protection issues and implications for research and education. Journal of Consumer Studies and Home Economics, 24, 124–127. 46. See 28. © 2002 Blackwell Science Ltd International Journal of Consumer Studies, 26, 3, September 2002, pp169–177 | 177