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Dr. Susan Sage Heinzelman, Director 2505 University Avenue, A4900, Burdine Hall 536, Austin Texas 78712 • 512-471-5765

New Faculty Colloquium - Reconciling consumption and citizenship through the myth of the American Adam

Mon, October 25, 2010 • 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM • CPE 2.212

Professor Lucy Atkinson (Advertising)

Consumer choices are increasingly inflected with political and civic concerns. Buying organic coffee and fair trade chocolate introduces prosocial aspects into an otherwise private consumption choice. Past research demonstrates how consumer choices are motivated by love for others, such as children, but very little empirical evidence investigates how consumers are motivated to account for generalized, unknown others, such as workers in foreign countries. Based on depth interviews with ethical consumers, I argue that contemporary consumers are motivated to consider distant, generalized others through attention to their own concerns. By enacting a postmodern variant of the American Adam, contemporary ethical consumers fulfill their private concerns while also safeguarding the well-being of others and in so doing, embody the ideals and values of republican citizenship.c

Sponsored by: Center for Women's and Gender Studies

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