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Transformative Consumer Research

PAST GRANT AWARDS

Environmental Consumption Patterns in Early Motherhood: The Evolving and Diverse Notions of the Good Green Mother Identity

2021

Niveen Abighannam, Lucy Atkinson

Award Amount

$1,500

This proposal seeks to extend the literature on the socio-cultural role of gender in relation to environmental consumption in early motherhood. Building on a two-phase qualitative study funded by TCR in 2013 that explored the consumption practices among a group of environmentally conscious women during their pregnancy and in the first year of their infants’ lives, this study proposes to use Consumer Culture Theory and Ecofeminism to further examine the evolving “good green” mother identity and the extent to which women’s environmental orientations and consumer identities have been both shaped and informed by their motherhood journeys. We propose: 1) a third wave of interviews with the same mothers we interviewed in 2013 and 2014 to explore how their identities as environmentally conscious mothers have evolved as their children have grown up and are now in the early phase of elementary school, and 2) a national survey of a sample of diverse mothers who share a common environmental focus but differ in terms of background, lifestyle, and living situations. This research will shed light on the process by which green mothers make their consumption decisions and inform their mothering identities not only at a particular point in time, but throughout an extended period. Additionally, the national survey will allow us to examine the extent to which such trends are generalizable across a diverse group of green mothers in different living situations in the US. Understanding how a diverse sample of traditional and nontraditional mothers make their green consumption decisions in light of various cultural, social, and individual pressures will generate insights that can serve researchers and social impact organizations to advance the well-being of diverse groups in society.

Keywords

Gender, Consumer Culture Theory, Motherhood, Identity, Green

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