Pinna, Mariella (2011) Rapporti tra etica ed economia in una prospettiva di consumo critico. Doctoral Thesis.
The doctoral dissertation, concerning moral values and personal motivation among critical consumers, is structured into two parts and lays on philosophical and economical basis in order to understand the dynamics of values construction. The aim of this work is to provide an innovative perspective in the specific field of consumption of eco friendly products, cruelty free and sustainable goods. Our fundamental goal is to “understand moral consumption” and, in order to reach this objective, we started by reviewing the literature both in moral philosophy and economics. At first, we analyzed the characteristics of contemporary society in terms of postmodernism and global movements, in order to asset a theoretical framework useful to understand the mechanisms of consumption in fragmented markets. Then, we studied Kant’s Critique of Practical reason and Amartya Sen’s thought and its importance in the debate among ethics and economics. Finally we reviewed the papers and books from consumer behavior literature. We conducted an empirical work among a group of 8 informants, who were asked to describe their lives, their consumption practices and the motivations underpinned. The interviews were treated as in- depth single case studies and their interpretation guided by an integrative review of the literature on idiographic analysis and grounded theory. Results of this study show, firstly, the role of critical consumption in the lives of our informants and secondly, the emergence of new moral subjects towards which people drive their interest.
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