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 of Business Ethics – Springer Journals
Published: May 30, 2018
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