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  • Author or Editor: Laurence Godin x
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In this article, I argue that care is a useful tool to think about consumption as embedded in social relations within and outside the market, and draw the consequences for moving towards sustainable lifestyles. To do so, I engage in a review of the literature that brings together consumption and care in its various forms. I review three main bodies of work: the literature on consumption that links care to consumer behaviour and consumption practices; the work addressing the commodifications of care and how it feeds in the neoliberal organisation of society; and the literature on climate change and the development of sustainable lifestyles. I close with a reflection on some lessons of care for academic researchers studying sustainability, consumption and a transition towards more sustainable and just societies.

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This empirical paper explores the transition to a vegetarian or a vegan diet, at the meeting point of individual biographies and their social context. It is based on 13 interviews conducted with 14 participants in the province of Quebec, Canada. It mobilises a conceptual framework that couples a social practice approach (SPT) with the concept of ‘fractures’ as developed by O’Neill and colleagues (2019). The results show that the transition to a vegetarian or a vegan diet involves tastes, ethical concerns and skills that were formed since childhood, and that it also depends on the interaction of elements specific to a social context such as a supportive social environment or the availability of meat replacement products. The participants’ experiences also suggest that transitions can be sparked by life events such as a new friendship, a new relationship or moving out of the parents’ house, all of which have in common a transformation in the social relations and networks central to everyday life. The conclusion discusses the role played by time, social relationships and space in the participants’ accounts and how it can be read through the lens of SPT and ‘fractures’, to understand how individual experience can be tied to change on a larger scale.

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