Can the continual reuse and repair of ‘shopping goods’ by consumers combat a growing throwaway society?

Gaze, Jemma (2017) Can the continual reuse and repair of ‘shopping goods’ by consumers combat a growing throwaway society? [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]

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Abstract

This study seeks to examine whether the continual reuse and repair of shopping goods by consumers can combat a growing throwaway society through a predominant focus upon sustainable consumption and possession attachment. This is a significantly important area to consider as although previous literature has focused on each aspect exclusively, these bodies of research have yet to be connected to examine how attachment can impact upon sustainability concerns. Fifteen interviews were conducted with eleven individuals and four couples in order to better understand how both purchase and disposal decisions are made, and to assess to what extent attachment can be utilised to counteract the throwaway society. The data gathered from the interviews showed that there are three main external constraints to consumers combatting the throwaway society; market, society and product development. For market influences, modern advertising methods were found to be particularly detrimental in encouraging a throwaway culture, whilst for societal aspects, peer pressure ensured the repeat purchase and disposal of items. Finally, in terms of product development, the relentless release of new models and new fashions by corporations was recurrently emphasised by consumers as an instigator in upgrading to new products. Yet, whilst these constraints exerted strong control over consumers, possession attachment existed through both emotional and functional aspects. It was illustrated in numerous cases that these feelings of attachment consistently superseded notions of obsolescence typically attributed with a throwaway culture, and thus validated the notion that the retention of products due to attachment is able to create positive impacts in combatting the throwaway society. As such, this study offers important insights into how a more astute understanding of consumer thought processes relating to purchase, disposal and attachment is better able to inform recommendations for combatting a growing throwaway society.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: Gaze, Jemma
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2018 09:45
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2018 15:21
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/45495

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