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Eco-Standards, Product Labelling and Green Consumerism : Consumption and Public Life - Magnus Bostrom

Eco-Standards, Product Labelling and Green Consumerism

Consumption and Public Life

Paperback Published: 1st October 2008
ISBN: 9780230321724
Number Of Pages: 247

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As conscientious consumers, we become overwhelmed with alarms about food contamination, climate change, chemical pollution and other environmental and health-related risks. This book explores green and politically engaged consumersim, asking the question: does green labelling offer ways toward a greener and more democratic society?

Industry Reviews

'...a significant contribution that will be useful for all social scientists interested in environmental issues as well as in political consumerism. Not least, it will be of great interest to those interested in environmental governance and the role of businesses, voluntary instruments and consumers in making society more sustainable' - Acta Sociologica

'...the rich empirical base and its many references make this a book worth buying and reading.' - Mats Bladh, International Journal of Consumer Studies

'thoughtful and ambitious...a convincing analysis of labelling as a site of political negotiation and contention, supported by well-researched case studies, which will be of interest to a broad range of social scientists, and to policymakers, marketers and civil society organizations' - Environmental Politics

'In connecting production and producers with consumption and consumers, green labels are an emerging phenomenon on today's global agenda for sustainability governance. Using a variety of theoretical perspectives and a rich empirical base, this excellent volume provides a balanced and in-depth analysis of the potentials, conditionalities, debates and drawbacks of green labeling. Highly recommended for scholars and professionals involved in environmental governance.' - Arthur P.J. Mol, Professor in Environmental Policy, Wageningen University, The Netherlands

'From snack foods to electricity to investment funds, ecolabels and other product certifications are becoming increasingly common tools for encouraging more sustainable forms of consumption. But can we trust these increasingly ubiquitous seals and labels? Is there any meaningful difference among the products that carry such endorsements? Bostrom and Klintman look behind the actual packaging and offer a pioneering and comprehensive account of how these assurance schemes and standards are manufactured and how they shape the buying practices of consumers in a new era of social and environmental consciousness.' - Maurie J. Cohen, New Jersey Institute of Technology, USand University of Leeds, UK

'This book focuses on a neat, compelling and important question: why trust labels and how do labels work? It shows how labelling has come to be central in environmental and other arenas worldwide, and takes us behind the scenes into the way labelling systems are maintained and made to work. The book offers sharp insights into a phenomenon that affects us all but that has barely been studied to date.' - Steve Yearley, Professor of the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge& Director of the ESRC Genomics Forum, University of Edinburgh, UK

'I recommend this book for researchers with a sound background in green issues and strong policy-orientated vocabulary who would like to further their knowledge of environmental governance.' - Sociological Research Online

List of Figures and Tablesp. viii
Forewordp. ix
Preface to the Paperback Editionp. xii
Acknowledgementsp. xiv
List of Abbreviationsp. xvi
Introduction: Green Consumerism, Green Labelling?p. 1
Risk culture and eco-standardsp. 1
Four themes: politics, trust, differentiation, and mismatchp. 4
Analysing labelling: outlinep. 11
Methodology and normative positionp. 14
The Historical Context - Key Trendsp. 17
Individualizationp. 19
Globalizationp. 20
Ecological modernizationp. 20
From production to consumptionp. 21
From government to governance, the rise of private authorities, and new rule-makingp. 24
Green Labels and Other Eco-Standards: A Definitionp. 27
Defining green labellingp. 28
Other eco-standardsp. 31
The Consumers' Role: Trusting, Reflecting or Influencing?p. 33
Green political consumerismp. 33
Three views of policy tools and consumer rolesp. 40
Conclusionp. 45
Our Casesp. 46
Organic food labellingp. 46
Forest certification and labellingp. 50
GMs: no mandatory labelling in the United States, but labelling in the EUp. 53
Marine certification and seafood labelling in Swedenp. 55
Green electricityp. 57
Green and ethical mutual funds (SRI funds)p. 62
Paper labelling - the Swan versus Paper Profilep. 65
Sceptical and Encouraging Argumentsp. 67
Market-oriented argumentsp. 68
Knowledge-oriented arguments about environment and healthp. 73
Green governance-oriented argumentsp. 76
Conclusionp. 82
Policy Contexts and Labellingp. 83
Theorizing policy contextp. 84
Political culturep. 86
Existing rules and regulations: enabling, protecting or suppressing?p. 95
Organizational landscapep. 102
Materiality and technologyp. 106
Conclusionp. 109
Three Framing Strategies: From a Complex Reality to a Categorical Labelp. 112
An introductory example: the moving and slippery nature of fish labellingp. 112
The concept of framingp. 114
Three framing strategiesp. 115
Boundary framing: to draw - or move - the line between the 'green' and the 'ordinary'p. 117
Frame resolution: to resolve conflicts and turn diverging views into a uniform labelp. 122
Frame reflection: to increase the clarity and openness of labelling debatesp. 125
Conclusions: trade-off between the framing strategies?p. 130
Organizing the Labellingp. 132
Two perspectives on organizing: coalition and formal organizationp. 132
How to organize SMO-business interaction in labelling arrangements?p. 136
Actors involved: interest, roles, and powerp. 144
Conclusionp. 156
Dealing with Mutual Mistrustp. 157
Introductionp. 157
To trust or to mistrust: the role of repeated interactionp. 157
Science and cognitive authoritiesp. 161
Transparency and auditabilityp. 168
Conclusion: towards mutual, reflective trust (among those involved)?p. 174
Green Labelling and Green Consumerism: Challenges and Horizonsp. 175
Politics empowers labellingp. 178
Reflective trust empowers labellingp. 185
Symbolic differentiation empowers labellingp. 188
How to empower the consumersp. 194
Notesp. 199
Referencesp. 212
Indexp. 231
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780230321724
ISBN-10: 0230321720
Series: Consumption and Public Life
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 247
Published: 1st October 2008
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.34 x 13.72  x 1.78
Weight (kg): 0.32
Edition Number: 1

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