Rethinking consumer culture and development

The first United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) is “no poverty” ( The measure of extreme poverty according to the UN is in dollars. If a person lives on less than $1.25 a day the person is extremely poor (ibid). Even if it is acknowledged that poverty is multifaceted and not always only economical (Banerjee and Duflo, 2011) research focus has been on economic terms and particularly in business studies the economic well-being has been emphasized and market potential of the less affluent stressed (e.g. Prahalad and Lieberthal, 1998; Prahalad, 2004). The aim of this track is to ask what is development? Whose development? What is the relationship between consumer culture and Development? Namely, if the basic needs of sufficient shelter and nutrition is met then frugal lifestyles are also the most sustainable as the global statistics of ecological footprints shows ( So, shouldn’t the development rather go from consumption culture towards frugal? Shouldn’t global North learn from global South how to live sustainably and how to find well-being in frugality? Without idealizing poverty this track seeks papers that discuss critically if in the name of development consumer culture is preached to the less affluent. The track also welcomes papers that identify sustainability among the poor that can be brought as development to the rich. Additionally, the track welcomes papers addressing and investigating the silencing of global south in Consumer Culture Theory (CCT)

Queries related to this track may be addressed to Professor Pia Polsa:


Banerjee A.V. & Duflo E. (2011), Poor Economics, Rethinking Poveryt & The Ways to End It, Noida: Random House India.

Prahalad, C.K. & Lieberthal, K. (1998), “The End of Corporate Imperialism,” Harvard Business Review. 76 (4): 68-79.

Prahalad, C.K. (2004), The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty

through Profits, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Wharton School Publishing.

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