PhD Candidate Athena Engman, Professor Shyon Baumann, and Professor Josée Johnston on Political Consumption, Conventional Politics, and High Cultural Consumption

Athena Engman

PhD Candidate Athena Engman, Professor Shyon Baumann, and Professor Josée Johnston published an article in the International Journal of Consumer Studies. The article analyzes political consumption (referring to consumption that supports a political or ethical position) and its relationship with conventional forms of politics. The authors find that, contrary to earlier arguments, political consumption has not replaced conventional political behaviour and that those who engage in the practice of political consumption are actually more likely to engage in political activism.

Athena Engman is a PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto studying epistemology, philosophy of mind, and medical sociology. Her thesis probes the experiences of organ transplant recipients. Shyon Baumann is a Professor of Sociology at University of Toronto Mississauga. His research focuses on questions of evaluation, legitimacy, status, cultural schemas, and inequality. Josée Johnston is a Professor of Sociology at University of Toronto Mississauga. Her general research goal is to advance knowledge in the sociological study of food and consumer culture.

We have posted the citation and the abstract of the article below. The full text is available through the University of Toronto Library Portal here.

Baumann, Shyon, Athena Engman, and Josée Johnston. 2015. “Political Consumption, Conventional Politics, and High Cultural Capital.” International Journal of Consumer Studies 39(5):413-421.

This article advances our knowledge of how political consumption is related to conventional forms of politics. Using survey data collected in Toronto in 2011, we examine how different kinds of political consumption are related to a range of conventional political behaviours. We find that, contrary to pessimistic views, political consumption is strongly correlated with conventional political behaviours. We do not find evidence for a crowding out or substitution effect of political consumption on conventional political behaviours. However, our findings suggest that political consumption is an individualized and relatively exclusive form of consumption, with demographic correlates that resemble other forms of high status cultural consumption and potentially limit its breadth.

Read the full article here.