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Conceptualizing non-voluntary anti-consumption: A practice-based study on market resistance in poor circumstances

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Journal of Consumer Culture

Published online on


This study presents a novel conceptual illustration of the non-voluntary anti-consumption practices that evolve in poor circumstances. The study brings a complementary and contrasting perspective to current discussions on anti-consumption by clarifying the understanding of non-voluntary anti-consumption practices and market resistance. Three conceptual elements—hidden, repressed and innovative—are identified to characterize non-voluntary anti-consumption practices; these elements are different from those of voluntary anti-consumption, which are collective, active and/or self-expressive. Applying the social constructivist practice-based approach, the analysis shows how the three types of non-voluntary anti-consumption practices—engaging in simple life, mastering consumerism and exploiting systems—are intertwined with other social practices and how they enable the poor to hold agency.