Feb 19, 2007

Article of the Week!

So I gave you all more than a week, mostly because I loaned that Ropke article to a friend who's getting a Master's in Econ. But the "willingness to consume" article was super interesting, kinda hard to recap w/o it in front of me, but here's a bit:
The article breaks the analysis of consumerism into three spheres: economic, social, and historical. The societal discussion focuses on the micro issues and is probably most interesting to Compactors.

One interesting question posed was this: "Why have we used increased income to pursue materials intensive goods rather than leisure time or service intensive goods?" One of a few answers includes that culturally we've taken to individualism. We rarely live with extended families, each child has his/her own room. Houses are larger now and holding fewer people. And we want to express our individuality through stuff. (I loathe this aspect of consumerism. Tell me how a mass produced t shirt w/ an ironic saying on it is individuality.) Household gadgets have made things easier to get clean, but our standard of cleanliness has shot through the roof so we spend just as much time cleaning as ever.
Really interesting stuff. Again, hard to recap w/o it in front of me.

Next article is "Affecting Durable Change: A Team Approach to Improve Environmental Behavior in the Household". This is by Staats, Harland, and Wilke in Environment and Behavior, Vol 36, No. 3, May 2004. I'm almost finished w/ it and it's very relevant to the Compact.

And check out our new links for Iceland, Vancouver, Sydney, and Nashville to the right!


Jen said...

Can you post the name of the first article you mentioned? It sounds facinating.

rachel said...

here ya go, jen.
"The dynamics of the willingness to consume" by Inge Ropke. You can find that in Ecological Economics 28 (1999) 399-420.

Justina said...

That article sounds great. It's the whole corporate structure, I'm sure it points out, right, selling us?

I'm no radical, but 25 years later, the one thing that stays with me most from Harvard is reading Marx. Ironic, no?

Good for you with your blog, and I'm going to learn more about the whole "Compact" thing.

Thanks for the blog!!!!