European Journal of Marketing | VOL. 50

Enacted voluntary simplicity – exploring the consequences of requesting consumers to intentionally consume less

Publication Date Feb 8, 2016


Purpose – This paper aims to explore the impact intentional non-consumption has on consumer practices, the resulting consumption experiences and meanings attached to the actions of participants and what is learned from this relative to voluntary simplicity, most specifically when participants are asked to become voluntary simplifiers versus volunteering to do so. Design/methodology/approach – A phenomenological approach was applied utilising unstructured interviews and autoethnography. Data were analysed through the theoretical lens of voluntary simplicity within the contexts of contemporary Irish consumer culture and the collapse of the Celtic Tiger. Findings – The study highlights findings in four key areas: self-imposed parameters of intentional non-consumption and subsequent voluntary simplicity categories; motivations, practices and experiences of participants; the role intentional non-consumption plays relative to personal satisfaction, fulfilment and happiness; and how participant consumption practices reverted to “normal” once the study was complete. Research limitations/implications – This study focuses on an all-female group of participants; future research is warranted that explores the issue from a male perspective. Social implications – Findings are of ...


Voluntary Simplicity Consumption Practices Phenomenological Approach Social Implications Modern Society Male Perspective Experiences Of Participants Lifestyle Activities Institutional Factors Key Areas

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