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Since the turn of the century, sociological consumer research has had a strong focus on ordinary, routinised consumption, especially within the sustainability context. This approach has been a welcome alternative when understanding sustainable consumption compared with relying on individualistic psychological or identity-communicative approaches. However, with the shift towards a practice theoretical approach, there has been a tendency to ignore variation in consumer practices. Specifically, questions regarding the extent to which ethical concern can explain variance have not yet been included. Important questions, such as whether and how ethics takes part in changing practices in more sustainable directions, have similarly been neglected. This theoretically based article intends to contribute to further developing theories of practice by bringing together three discussions: how variation in carrying and performing practices can be conceptualised, how different approaches to consumption have conceptualised ethics and how ethics of care and the concept of general understandings can be used to conceptualise ethical aspects of consumption within theories of practice. The article concludes by summarising the findings from these discussions and raising questions of further empirical and theoretical concern.

TidsskriftJournal of Consumer Culture
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)432-449
Antal sider18
StatusUdgivet - aug. 2021


  • Consumption
  • Ethics
  • Everyday life
  • Sustainable consumption
  • Theories of practice


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