Beyond the “deficit discourse”: Mapping ethical consumption discourses in Chile and Brazil

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Ariztia, Tomas 
Kleine, Dorothea 
Bartholo, Roberto 
Brightwell, Graca 
Agloni, Nurjk 

jats:pThis article challenges the longstanding trend of much empirical material on ethical consumption originating from the global North, offering instead rich data on ethical consumption and practices in Chile and Brazil. Drawing on data generated from 32 in-depth focus groups (179 participants in total) in both countries, the article identifies similarities and differences between these two countries and with the global North. We identify how ethical consumption in Chile and Brazil is conceptualized mainly at two different scales, namely first, the everyday ethics of consumption at household scale and, second, a more global scale of discourse on environmental problems and the negative effects of globalisation. At the household scale, narrative themes include those of prudence, of avoiding overconsumption, family health, and focus on quality. At a more national and international scale, respondents from all classes in both countries discussed labour conditions associated with Chinese imports. Further, particularly university-educated and well-travelled respondents had adopted international environmentalist discourses. Employing a relational geography to discourses, the article calls for research to both include and transcend cross-country comparisons, and binaries of global North and South.</jats:p>


This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from SAGE via

ethical consumption, Latin America, everyday consumption, south and north
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Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space
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SAGE Publications
This research was made possible by a grant from the UK Economic and Social Research Council and the Department for International Development (RES-167-25-0714).