Flattering Consumption: The Growth of Consumer Rights and Product Safety Concerns in Europe

Burgess, A. (2001) Flattering Consumption: The Growth of Consumer Rights and Product Safety Concerns in Europe. Journal of Consumer Culture, 1 (1). pp. 93-117. ISSN 1469-5405. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/146954050100100106

Abstract

This article argues that the unprecedented prominence of consumer groups in contemporary Europe is not the product of a ‘bottom up' process driven by newly demanding consumers. Drawing particularly upon the examples of the UK and the EU, it is argued that the politicization of ‘the consumer' in Europe has come from above. The creation of the ‘citizen consumer' was firstly an attempt to introduce the appearance of accountability as the market was deregulated in the 1980s. Aligning authority with the consumer (and against the corporation) subsequently evolved as an important means of (re)establishing legitimacy. Such a process is problematic because government is effectively institutionalizing the mistrust at the heart of the new consumer culture.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: consumer, rights, consumption, safety, europe, consumer organizations, consumerism, legitimacy, mistrust, product, regulation, risk
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Sociology
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Samantha Osborne
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2007 18:10
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2013 11:39
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/321 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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