The Social Dynamics and Durability of Moral Boundaries

Keith Brown
Publication Date: 
This article examines how ethical consumers think about and talk about ethical consumption.
Although the Fair Trade movement encourages consumers to talk about the ethical implications of shopping, even ethical consumers tend to downplay moral issues. Instead of talking about how consumers "should" consume, they focus on product attributes such as price, quality, taste, or functionality. This paper explores this phenomenon in great depth through interviews with Fair Trade consumers and through participant observation in Philadelphia, PA.