Group Identity, Personal Ethics and Sustainable Development Suggesting New Directions For Social Marketing Research

Johanna Moisander
  • Springer Science + Business Media
  • DOI: 10.1007/0-306-48160-x_5

Why we need to re-think individualistic approaches to social marketing

What is it about?

Based on a meta-analysis of research published in Journal of Macromarketing and Journal of Public Policy and Marketing in the 1990s, the paper critically examines the applicability of the (at the time prevalent) empiricist approach to studying green consumerism (its conceptualizations and methodological commitments) to policy-oriented research, particularly its suitability for enhancing social change.

Why is it important?

The paper puts forth an argument that the (at the time) dominant individualistic and choice theoretic approach to studying green consumerism, and the techno-economic policy implications that it produces, are insufficient and inadequate for delivering the potentially valuable contribution that social scientific research might have for sustainable development. It also suggests an alternative, constructionist perspective that shifts attention to the social and cultural dynamics of green consumerism.


Professor Johanna K. Moisander
Aalto University

I originally wrote this paper for the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) expert meeting, the aim of which was to contribute to the Third Assessment Report of IPCC. IPCC assessment reports are comprehensive and up-to-date assessments of the policy-relevant scientific, technical, and socio-economic dimensions of climate change. I have further developed these ideas in my later works.

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The following have contributed to this page: Professor Johanna K. Moisander