The Paradox of Green Consumption: Is It for Social Justice?

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 11:00
Oral Presentation
Taekyeong GOH, Sogang University, Republic of Korea
What is the ground of environmental justice? Can anything green get a green light in the line of environmental movement? Previous studies of green consumption indicated the behavior of green consumer impacted by the environmental attitude, knowledge, beliefs and norms. However, this paper explores the paradox of green consumption, in that the environmental-friendly market and purchasers worsen the social polarization, particularly in the organic food market in the USA. In other words, the “green” product is used as a tool for social differentiation (Eliott, 2013) which contradicts with social justice; the organic food purchasers consequently distinguish themselves from people who can’t afford it; the market promotes the organic products by publicizing a good image of “green” and increasing its price.

In this paper, there are three main objectives. First, it aims to highlight how people spend their money differently on organic food related to several aspects, such as their socioeconomic status, age, sex and race. That is, it seeks to scrutinize how green consumption could differ depending on the consumer’s demographics. Second, it aims to analyze why the purchaser choose to buy organic food and to go to organic food market. That is, it seeks to explore the complicated reasons affecting environmental friendly decision-making. At last, it aims to reveal not only the side of demand, but also one of supply. It seeks to highlight how the market has manipulated the image of “green” with their marketing strategies. The data will be collected by doing document analysis (investigation reports, news articles, and other primary source materials) for the market analysis and conducting online survey of local people in SLC, Utah in order to analyze who purchases organic food more and which factors make people buy it. In conclusion, this paper will be a theoretical and empirical on green consumption.