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Agencing Sustainable Food Consumers: Integrating Production, Markets and Consumption Through a Socio-Material Practice Perspective

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Abstract

This chapter provides a deeper understanding of how consumers become capable to act more sustainable in different moments of consumption. As seen from a socio-material practice theoretical perspective, the chapter goes to show how consumer capacity to act and make a difference is constituted through various socio-material arrangements, rather than being determined by the inherent capability of the individual consumer or the surrounding structures in markets or production. The main argument of this chapter is that sustainable consumption is a collective achievement: wherein sustainable practices become enacted through different forms of mediation involving multiple human and non-human actors, including the consumer, that in turn work to integrate different practices in production, markets and consumption. The empirical material illustrates how various food practices work to integrate and alter different moments of consumption with both production and market practices in the junctions of vegetable gardens, food stores and kitchens. In order to better understand the formation of sustainable consumption, we cannot only look at one side (consumption, markets or production) if we want to see practice changes to sustainability; rather, we need to see them as integrated and entangled through practices.

Parts of this text have previously been published in my dissertation titled “Producing Consumers: Agencing and Concerning Consumers to Do Green in Everyday Food Practices” (Stigzelius, 2017), Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden. The empirical data in this chapter, however, consist of previously unpublished material.

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Correspondence to Ingrid Stigzelius .

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Stigzelius, I. (2021). Agencing Sustainable Food Consumers: Integrating Production, Markets and Consumption Through a Socio-Material Practice Perspective. In: Bali Swain, R., Sweet, S. (eds) Sustainable Consumption and Production, Volume II. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-55285-5_7

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