Consumo ético e sustentabilidade ambiental: estudo exploratório para conhecer comportamentos de aprendizagem, participação, responsabilidade e solidariedade do consumidor

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Malik, Ana Maria
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The sustainable development model addresses issues such as social inequality, environmental restrictions and the need to make compatible the present and the expectations of future generations. The contemporary consumption, hedonistic and individualistic, of information exchanges, of social distinctions and consumerist vocation, seems to raise difficulties to individuals from considering such issues and from prioritising environmental sustainability. As a direction of behaviour in which the consumer is guided by a sense of collective integration, of responsibility towards others and the environment, ethical consumption builds a bridge between contemporary consumption and sustainability. The purpose of this exploratory study is to know the behavioural trends in ethical consumption, still an incipient topic in the social sciences field. In the bibliographic review it was intended to integrate contents marking the boundaries of interdisciplinarity between consumption, sustainable development and ethics, forming the study variables. Students were researched as “tomorrow’s leaders” because of their influence in organisations. Sampling was nonprobabilistic by judgement. The research instrument based on a 7-point Likert scale was applied to graduate and post-graduate administration students. Factorial and cluster multivariate analyses were used. The result was taxonomy of the studied sample, such as: “the sceptic conscious”, “independent follower”, “non-practising theorist” and “dissonant individualist”. This study reinforces the earlier finding from the bibliographic review that there is a paradox in contemporary individualism, at the same time both consumerist and ecological. It also suggests the hypothesis that gender, working or not and the mother’s educational level influence the consumer’s learning about environmental topics, the decision to participate in a consumption global compact and responsibility towards future generations. It was concluded that the discourse ethics can be a benchmark for understanding the exchange of information for sustainable development. The consumer in the research isn't in compliance with ethical consumption, establishing behavioural stages that do not associate theory and practice for environmental sustainability.

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