What is overconsumption? a step towards a common understanding

Andreas Håkansson

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelPeer review

16 Citeringar (Scopus)


Overconsumption is a widely used term in science, media and among concerned consumers. What do we mean by this term? This study is based on the assumption that both the public debate on consumption and consumer research could benefit from better understanding how this term is used and from clarifying the definition. The primary aim of this study was to describe how the term ‘overconsumption’ is being used in the contemporary scientific debate in fields related to consumer studies. This was done by studying the use of the term in scientific journal papers between 2010 and 2012 using qualitative content analysis. It is concluded that overconsumption is often described as consumption of hedonic goods by individuals with undesirable personality traits, low moral or belonging to minority groups. Furthermore, overconsumption is described as having detrimental effects both on the individual consumer, the society and the environment; however, direct individual effects are more frequently mentioned in the studies. The term is seldom defined explicitly. This might lead to confusion and misunderstanding between research fields and between different stakeholders. A structured framework for generating clear and useful definitions is suggested in this study, based on the reviewed papers and a theoretical framework from moral philosophy.

Sidor (från-till)692-700
Antal sidor8
TidskriftInternational Journal of Consumer Studies
StatusPublicerad - 2014

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