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Consumerism and sustainable development : An Australian-South Korean comparative study

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  • Consumerism and sustainable development
  • Mullins, Patrick; Jeong, Dai Yeun; Western, John S.; Lowe, Lan; Simpson, Rod
  • Korean Social Science Research Council


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Title Consumerism and sustainable development
Similar Titles
Sub Title

An Australian-South Korean comparative study

Material Type Articles
Author(English)

Mullins, Patrick; Jeong, Dai Yeun; Western, John S.; Lowe, Lan; Simpson, Rod

Publisher

[Seoul]:Korean Social Science Research Council

Date 2004
Journal Title; Vol./Issue Korean Social Science Journal:vol. 31(no. 1)
Pages 38
Subject Country South Korea(Asia and Pacific)
Language English
File Type Link
Original Format pdf
Subject Economy < Economic Administration
Holding Korean Social Science Research Council

Abstract

This paper addresses a socio-cultural contradiction, one that is of monumental proportion, being global in scale and allegedly threatening the survival of the natural and social worlds. It emanates from two cultural imperatives - consumerism and environmentalism - and their consequent behaviours - consumption and environmental behaviour. Consumerism is a cultural imperative that demands we appropriate as many goods and services as possible and that we should do this essentially for fun and enjoyment. In contradistinction, environmentalism is the cultural imperative that demands we act in an environmentally sustainable way and, most particularly, do this by cutting back on consumption and against a backdrop of a impending apocalypse, one emanating from today’s ‘risk society’. Consumerism is by far, the most pervasive of the two cultural goals. Of the two behavioural outcomes, consumption refers to the appropriation of goods and services, particularly for fun and enjoyment, and it is a process that has developd into a wild and obsessive consumption; A‘hyperconsumption’. Environmental behaviour, in contrast, refers to actions taken to protect the natural environment and thus achieve a sustainable environmental development. Of the two forms of social action, consumption is the more pervasive, thus making it impossible to achieve sustainable development. The paper presents a comparative analysis, between Australia and South Korea (hereafter called Korea), of consumerism and consumption, and environmentalism and environmental behaviour. It found a number of basic similarities between the two urban regions under study, South East Queensland and the island province of Cheju. There were similarities in terms of environmentalism, anti-environmentalism, consumption, and environmental behaviour. Overall, the biggest difference was with consumerism.