Subcultures, Neotribes, Countercultures, Or New Social Movements: the Case of Voluntary Simplicity

The traditional view of a consumption subculture refers to a distinct subgroup of society that shares a common interest in and commitment to a particular product class, brand, or consumption activity (Schouten and McAlexander 1995). Consumption subcultures are characterized by hierarchical social structures and sets of shared beliefs, values, and modes of symbolic expression (Schouten and McAlexander 1995). On the one hand, these characteristics are clearly visible within voluntary simplicity communities, groups, and consumers. The cultural practice of voluntarily consuming less, or downshifting (Schor 1998), has its own language, rituals, conventions, associations, clubs, magazines, workshops, websites, and core participants, in fact, voluntary simplicity leaders are valorized as heroes or legends (e.g., Cecile Andrews, Duane Elgin, and David Shi).


Christina Goulding, Mike Saren, and Robin Canniford (2005) ,"Subcultures, Neotribes, Countercultures, Or New Social Movements: the Case of Voluntary Simplicity", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 7, eds. Karin M. Ekstrom and Helene Brembeck, Goteborg, Sweden : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 79-82.


Christina Goulding, Wolverhampton University
Mike Saren, Leicester University
Robin Canniford, Exeter University


E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 7 | 2005

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