Sustainable Consumption and Production: Challenges for Transformative Consumer Research
Almost 20 years ago, Beck (1992) drew our attention to the question of how researchers understand the environment and its consequences:
Since Beck issued this warning, researchers in a diversity of traditions have, without doubt, given more consideration to the environment and the consequences of unsustainable consumption and production (e.g., Assadourian, 2010; Jackson, 2005; Jackson & Michaelis, 2003). Kilbourne (2004) argued that unless the basic assumptions that underpin research on ecological sustainability are questioned, and new environmental paradigms are encouraged and supported, substantive changes in society will never occur (see also Kilbourne & Mittelstaedt, Chapter 14 of this volume). In order to achieve the goal of ecological sustainability, all facets of the system of production and consumption must be critically examined, and perhaps dismantled and reformed, using new assumptions, rules, and methods. We suggest that TCR provides a unique prism for considering the important changes that need to occur to achieve this daunting goal within consumer research.