Ethical Consumption, Consumer Self-Governance, and the Later Foucault

Dialogue 47 (01):25- (2008)
Abstract
ABSTRACT: This article analyzes the later work of Michel Foucault on ethics, freedom, and self-governance as it applies to the ethics of consumption and to new ethical consumerist movements such as fair-trade coffee. Foucault's emphasis on practices of the self helps elucidate the virtue ethics involved in consumption choices. Ethical consumption is cast as a set of practices of self-development: through critical activity and the quest for freedom, persons seek to transform themselves to live in reciprocal relationships with other persons and nature. This requires public deliberation and collective action to effect change within ourselves and our practical systems of consumption and production.RÉSUMÉ: Cet article consiste en une analyse des derniers textes de Michel Foucault au sujet de la gouvernance de soi-même, de l'éthique et de la liberté. J'utilise ces concepts pour discuter l'ethique de la consommation et la nouvelle importance mise sur la consommation équitable pour des produits comme le café équitable. Le travail de Foucault sur le souci de soi aide pour élucider l'éthique de la vertu dans les choix du consommateur. La consommation équitable est considérée comme faisant partie d'une ensemble de pratiques qui développe le soi. Par la poursuite de la liberté au moyen d'actions critiques, on essaie de se transformer afin de former des relations réciproques avec la nature et les autres. Ceci exige un disco ur public et des recours collectifs concernant la transformation de soi-même et de nos systèmes de consommation et production
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    Elizabeth Barham (2002). Towards a Theory of Values-Based Labeling. Agriculture and Human Values 19 (4):349-360.

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