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Blurring the boundaries: Prosumption, circularity and online sustainable consumption through Freecycle

Eden, Sally

Authors

Sally Eden

Abstract

© The Author(s) 2015. This article explores the digital exchange and moral ordering of sustainable and ethical consumption in online Freecycle groups. Through interactive exchanges in digital (online posts) and material (consumer items) modes, Freecycling blurs three common binaries in analyses of consumption: (1) consumption/production, (2) digital/material and (3) mainstream/alternative. Drawing on Ritzer's notion of 'implosions' as well as practice theory, I show that Freecycling practices reimagine and reproduce both products and consumers, practising prosumption through mixed digital and material practices in a performative economy, and how mainstream and alternative ways of consuming are entangled in pursuit of more sustainable, ethical consumption. This challenges us to think beyond these traditional binaries and to conceptualise a more blurred, less analytically clean and more circular approach to studying consumption.

Publication Date Jul 1, 2017
Journal Journal of consumer culture
Print ISSN 1469-5405
Electronic ISSN 1741-2900
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 17
Issue 2
Pages 265-285
Institution Citation Eden, S. (2017). Blurring the boundaries: Prosumption, circularity and online sustainable consumption through Freecycle. Journal of Consumer Culture, 17(2), 265-285. https://doi.org/10.1177/1469540515586871
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/1469540515586871
Keywords Freecycle
Publisher URL http://joc.sagepub.com/content/early/2015/05/27/1469540515586871.full.pdf?ijkey=J2rmPnavcz8VU93&keytype=finite
Copyright Statement ©2015 University of Hull
Additional Information Author's accepted manuscript of article published in: Journal of consumer culture, 2015: http://joc.sagepub.com/...vcz8VU93&keytype=finite

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