Thursday, March 3, 2016

Ethical consumption


So many of us have made the transition from consumption to considered living that it seems weird to come across people who dont know what ethical consumption is. I've challenged myself to start a Masters degree (my second), & I'm starting with  corporate social responsibility. This weeks lecture was about comsumption, and the lecturere asked us to talk in small groups about consumerism and global sustainability. There are alot of international students in my class, and I was surprised at some of the reactions the the question. 

We had to read articles about consumer choices and marketing. Again I was surprised these articles were dated 2010, and yet as a society we have progressed our thinking and awareness of consumer power, but in my course I'm looking at reserach nearly 10 yrs  old. To be honest i was pleasantly surprised in myself. I could teach this subject with my eyes closed!  I dont think all my subjects will be this easy, but I'm enjoying the thinking time I'm getting, and the challenge of reading things I wouldn't normally do. 

Last week I handed in my first assignment on DuPont and the teflon crisis, corporate social responsibility and moral agency. I really enjoyed learning more about the case study, the legal case, and thinking about what I would've liked DuPont to have done differently.  Im currently thinking through the idea that for a company to have moral agency they need to have an internal decision making framework that supports rational and moral thinking. I'm pondering the idea that a company can be moral if its executive and internal decision making structure has access to the right peop,e and right information. But at the same time I acknowledge there are many forces that weigh on an executives power to make ethical and moral decisions. I'm fascinated by these power plays, and wonder how an individual can influence a company's decision making from inside? And then how can consumers influence from outside? 

I strongly believe in citizen action, and that as individuals we can influence companies to make different decisions. I think its useful to know what information to gather when thinking about how to influence different companies. 

Simple living, ethical and considered consumption, power of individuals to
 Influence.... all at the front of my mind... mingling with outdated theories and economic thinking.... what comes to mind for you? 

2 comments:

Jeanie said...

It sounds like a fascinating course of study. I have a feeling you are going to find much nuance (along with some blatant examples!) I really admire your tackling another degree. Bravo!

Rebecca Shann said...

That sounds so very fascinating, I wish I could bring myself to study again...I love learning and being exposed to different things, but after so many years at uni I am still not ready to go back to assignments!! I hope you keep sharing this stuff as you learn it, I would love to hear more!