This article reviews some of the recent literature in geography and related disciplines on ethical consumerism and political consumption. Many geographers began their engagement with questions of ethics, politics, consumption and consumerism inspired by critical theory, commodity chain analysis and a sense that geographical knowledge might have a central role to play in progressive social change. Since these early engagements, it has been established that consumption practices are rarely the practices of rational, autonomous, self-identified consumers, and so-called ethical consumption practices are rarely detached from organisations and their political activity. Over time, therefore, some researchers have gradually shifted their focus from consumer identities and knowledge to consumption practices, social networks, material infrastructures and organisations of various kinds. This shift in focus has implications – both for the field of political consumption and for how the discipline of geography relates to this field
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