Narrative Worlds of Frugal Consumers: Unmasking Romanticized Spirituality to Reveal Responsibilization and De-politicization

Narrative Worlds of Frugal Consumers: Unmasking Romanticized Spirituality to Reveal... Extant literature romanticizes frugality as a lifestyle trait that helps in the spiritual evolution of consumers, which in turn enables them in overcoming the negative consequences of materialism and over-consumption. Extant studies have not paid attention to cultural contexts, such as caste and gender, which could outline the non-volitional enactment of frugality in societies such as India. We draw from the work of the political philosopher Alain Badiou to argue that frugality embodies non-volitional subjectivities and is linked to processes of responsibilization and de-politicization. We engage with layered narratives from three story-sites and conceptualize frugality as a socio-political subjectivity that disenfranchises consumers and normalizes inequality. Our study provides evidence of how consumers are made to adopt frugality to conform to political conservatism and unequal orders of caste and gender. Keywords Atonic · Badiou · Caste · Consumption · Dalit · De-politicization · Frugality · Gender · India · Inequality · Responsibilization · Romanticization · Spirituality · Subjectivity Introduction consumers or informed by economic or cultural constraints that consumers experience. Frugality may not entirely be The extant literature describes frugality as a lifestyle trait of volitional as consumers may often adopt frugal behaviors to consumers adopting austere behaviors in order to produc- adhere to their cultural identities (Witkowski 2010). While tively save and http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Business Ethics Springer Journals

Narrative Worlds of Frugal Consumers: Unmasking Romanticized Spirituality to Reveal Responsibilization and De-politicization

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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature
Subject
Philosophy; Ethics; Business and Management, general; Management; Business Ethics; Quality of Life Research
ISSN
0167-4544
eISSN
1573-0697
D.O.I.
10.1007/s10551-018-3931-1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Extant literature romanticizes frugality as a lifestyle trait that helps in the spiritual evolution of consumers, which in turn enables them in overcoming the negative consequences of materialism and over-consumption. Extant studies have not paid attention to cultural contexts, such as caste and gender, which could outline the non-volitional enactment of frugality in societies such as India. We draw from the work of the political philosopher Alain Badiou to argue that frugality embodies non-volitional subjectivities and is linked to processes of responsibilization and de-politicization. We engage with layered narratives from three story-sites and conceptualize frugality as a socio-political subjectivity that disenfranchises consumers and normalizes inequality. Our study provides evidence of how consumers are made to adopt frugality to conform to political conservatism and unequal orders of caste and gender. Keywords Atonic · Badiou · Caste · Consumption · Dalit · De-politicization · Frugality · Gender · India · Inequality · Responsibilization · Romanticization · Spirituality · Subjectivity Introduction consumers or informed by economic or cultural constraints that consumers experience. Frugality may not entirely be The extant literature describes frugality as a lifestyle trait of volitional as consumers may often adopt frugal behaviors to consumers adopting austere behaviors in order to produc- adhere to their cultural identities (Witkowski 2010). While tively save and

Journal

Journal of Business EthicsSpringer Journals

Published: May 30, 2018

References

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