Taking fun seriously in envisioning sustainable consumption

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Richard Wilk Indiana University, USA

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Ultimately, consumption drives the global economy and high levels of consumption among the wealthiest fraction of the population are responsible for a disproportionate amount of carbon emissions. Many experiences that motivate overconsumption include the pursuit of fun, a term that cuts across other conventional categories like pleasure, entertainment, leisure and play. This article surveys the scattered literature on fun and finds the concept useful in framing issues of overconsumption. Consumer capitalism is constantly finding and marketing new ways of having fun. I suggest that we should carefully assess the potential of particular kinds of fun to increase or reduce carbon emissions and use social and policy measures to discourage one and promote the other.

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Richard Wilk Indiana University, USA

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