Experience and Sustainable Consumption

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Experience understood as experience-based consumption is by now fairly absent from the research agenda of the different theories on sustainable consumption. On the basis of Colin Campbell’s notion of romantic ethics and emotional sentimentality in modern hedonism, I claim that sustainable consumption may re-enchant ordinary consumption and thereby even become a part of marketing and the experience economy. New layers of meaning are at stake and altruistic motives come into play; doing something good for someone or something, aside from oneself, is a very strong trigger of positive emotions. Very often, however, the actual purchase does not live up to the demands of doing good in the sustainable consumption chain, and the individual might end up with a guilty conscience, which again is a possible trigger for lingering in a sentimental mode of guilt. Emotions of sentimentality may actually convince the individual that she really does care for others and thereby provide a positive experience of feeling good – even if it takes place in the universe of consumption fantasies only.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2013
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventNordmedia 2013: Defending Democracy - Oslo and Akerhus University College, Oslo, Norway
Duration: 8 Aug 201311 Aug 2013


ConferenceNordmedia 2013
LocationOslo and Akerhus University College
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