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Social (im)possibilities of the formation of ethical consumption: A comparative study of Sweden and Iran
Funder: European CommissionProject code: 101022789 Call for proposal: H2020-MSCA-IF-2020
Funded under: H2020 | MSCA-IF-EF-ST Overall Budget: 191,852 EURFunder Contribution: 191,852 EUR
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Ethical consumerism as a way of protecting society, civil and citizen rights, labour rights, as well as the environment and animal welfare is considered a civil response of consumers to the inefficient socio-environmental policies of governments and public organisations. Despite some initial findings from non-European societies, the great bulk of our knowledge of the phenomenon is related to the European northern and western societies that generally have relatively similar social contexts and structures. Going beyond the conventional boundaries to investigate the issue in a non-western social context and to provide a novel comparative study, the research strategy is to study two very different countries in terms of their social, economic, political and cultural situation, Iran and Sweden. Considering consumption as a social practice that is affected by embedded social regime and setting, the project will apply social practice theory (SPT) and multi-level perspective (MLP) to compare the (im)possibilities of the formation of ethical consumption in target countries. The project will apply in-depth semi-structured interviews and purposive sampling will be utilized to select a diverse sample group in each context. To understand the wide range of social parameters that determine ethical consumerism interviewees will be asked about related corresponding issues. They will also specifically be asked about key factors of buycotting, boycotting and organic products in their personal life. By identifying similarities and differences of consumption practices in response to the embedded social structure and settings in Sweden and Iran the project will contribute to further theorizing about ethical consumerism. The project will also reveal through which social mechanism consumers engage or not in ethical consumerism and what social regimes and structures promote them to be ethical consumer or prevent.

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