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Networks of practices in critical consumption


Journal of Consumer Culture

Published online on


This article proposes some theoretical and methodological advancements in the study of critical consumption within the framework of the theory of practices. It does so by applying an innovative analytic technique based on network analysis: using data from a survey of a representative sample of the Italian population, we analyze the structure of connections between variables at different levels of correlations, and then we focus on some interesting local neighborhoods that suggest elements for interpretative frameworks. The aim of this article is to explore whether it is possible to consider critical consumption as a practice, and if so what are the elements that characterize it as an entity. We also aim to observe whether these elements are connected to other (not necessarily sustainable) practices. Results do not show robust and coherent connections of elements that allow speaking of critical consumption as a practice, but they identify interesting anchor points where ethnographic approaches can be directed. These crossroads, where bundles of elements encounter, suggest the existence of loose knits of activities where competences and meanings of different practices encounter and contaminate.