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Ethical Consumption - Coursework Example

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This paper discusses the ethical consumption. The increasing information flow has made it possible for consumers to ethically evaluate the practices of the firms involved in buying and selling of products and have changed their buying behavior to account for their ethical responsibilities…
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Ethical Consumption
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Download file to see previous pages There are many factors that actually outline as to why there has been a shift towards ethical consumption. These factors range from popular disillusionment with modern businesses because of large scale corporate scandals to personal and guilt and shame. In between, there are many factors which are actually reshaping and redefining the way consumers making their buying decisions? (Thogersen, 1999)
For the last twenty years or so there has been a growing body of research suggesting the emergence of a new group of consumers who tend to base their purchasing decisions on ethics and morality. Ethical consumers, therefore, tend to focus more on evaluating different aspects of companies including their hiring processes, the use of animal products, the damage done to the environment, etc.
Spending has been given a global, as well as individual morality wherein consumers, perceive themselves as custodian of earth. At the individual level, spending is considered as the clearest way through which consumers actually demonstrate their moral choices. (Freestone & McGoldrick, 2008)
The overall notion of ethical consumers and ethical consumption emerged out of the concept of green consumers. Ethical consumption, however, is believed to be a relatively complex web of decisions that are being made by the consumer. The ethical consumer therefore not only assesses the impact of his buying on the environment but also adds the human element to green consumption also.
Though it has been argued that consumers have become ethical because of improvements in technology as well as information flow, however, still limited nature of the information may limit consumers’ ability to know the true outcome of their purchase decisions. It has also been suggested that unequal distribution of wealth may also be one of the reasons as to whether there can be ethical consumers in the first place? It is argued that until and unless the issue of unequal distribution of wealth is not addressed, consumers may never be able to fulfill their democratic role as ethical consumers. (Shaw & Clarke, 1998) The above arguments suggest that consumers may not be able to fully become ethical in their purchasing decisions and as such ethical consumption is just a myth. Carrigan & Attala (2001) argued that though consumers have become sophisticated in nature however, their behavior may not be easily translated into something which clearly favors ethical firms over unethical firms. (Carrigan & Attalla, 2001) To understand as to whether consumers can be ethical in nature and where they can draw the line in terms of their responsibility towards, it is critical to understand and explore different motivations behind the behavior which drives consumers to act ethically. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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