Behind Closed Doors: Understanding the Consumption Contradictions of Ethically-Minded Consumers From a Couples Theory Perspective

Many consumers intend to buy and consume products with ethical connotations. Very few of these consumers, however, manage to follow these ethical consumption intentions through to the cash register(Young et al., 2010). The scant insights garnered in the nascent literature exploring this ‘gap’ provide a limited, disconnected, understanding of the consumption contradictions of ethical consumers (Devinney, Eckhardt, and Belk 2005; Szmigin et al. 2009). We draw upon a number of theoretical lenses under the rubric of Couples Theory to: (1) explore ethical consumption from the dyadic perspective of couples; (2) understand ethical consumption contradictions in the context of dynamic, deeply layered and negotiated social lives; and (3) begin to grasp the role of ethical consumption in the ongoing construction of self inside and outside these intimate relationships. The findings from our initial interviews illustrate that relational interactions provide authentic, in-depth psychological explanations for ethical consumption contradictions not previously recognized in the literature.


Benjamin Neville, Helen Neville, and Michal Carrington (2012) ,"Behind Closed Doors: Understanding the Consumption Contradictions of Ethically-Minded Consumers From a Couples Theory Perspective", in AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 10, eds. , , and , Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 429-431.


Benjamin Neville, University of Melbourne, Australia
Helen Neville, Relationships Australia, Australia
Michal Carrington, LaTrobe University, Australia


AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 10 | 2012

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