Ethical Consumer and Fair Trade

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QUESTION 3:Choose one of the theoretical approhes considered during the module, apply it to a particular issue or text and discuss how useful that approach is in analyzing, evaluating or questioning your chosen topic.

Ethical Consumer and Fair Trade

Introduction:
Social responsibility and marketing ethics are natively controversial , continues research in this area represents conflicts and challenges addressed to marketers in respect to socially responsible approach to marketing activities(Laczniak and Murphy, 1993; Smith and Quelch, 1996).The aim of the essay is to explain arising phenomenon of Ethical consumption by the use of related theoretical frameworks, as well as explaining Fair Trade and paradoxes of ethical consumption in respect to the use of child labour by western MNC’s.The essay will be structured as follows :the rise of ethical consumption , theoretical approaches and critics ,business aspect of ethical consumption, explaining Fair Trade , paradox of child labour.

Escalation of ethical concerns about the influence of modern consumption culture on society and the environment, the rising importance of these environmental and social issues within mainstream media, the emergence of organised consumer activist groups and the growing availability of ethical products, have all led to a rising awareness by consumers of the impact of their purchasing and consumption behaviour.In addition (Rob Harrison, 2005) provide external factors which have atributed to the rise of ethical consumtion: the globalisation of market combined with the weakening role of the state, the rise of MNC’s and brands, rise of campainging groups, enviroment as well as social effects of technological advance, shift in market power to consumers , and the growth of a wider corporate responsibility.

Rise of Ethical consumption
A new category of consumer – the ‘ethical consumer’ – has arisen.Ethical consumerism can be view as a process which contributes to an ecologically sustainable future through development of sustainable lifestyles. Characteristics of ethical consumer  includes both ‘fairness’ in the sense of support for producers as well as environmental sustainability. Thus rise of the ‘ethical consumer’ and ‘ethical shopping’ via recycling and  boycotts over the past decade displays concern for sustainable consumption and social responsibility. Consumers, as a concerned party, can orient their choice and exercise purchaser power to buy the products which were made with the least harm to the environment.Furthermore this process the consumer becomes connected to, and an active participant in, global social and environmental issues.Ethics will contain different expressions, concerns and issues for each individual. Examples of ethical concerns for the ethically conscious include environmental/green issues, sustainability concerns, labours’ rights, country of origin, arms trade, fair trade and animal welfare. ‘Green’ consumerism, it should be noted, is subsumed within the broader category of ethical consumerism. The wider range of issues (including environmentalism) integrated within ethical consumerism produces complex decision-making processes for ethically minded consumers (Freestone and McGoldrick, 2008).

Theoretical Approach:

Baumhart (1961) and Tzalikis and Frizsche (1989) propose that the morale issues in marketing are crucial ,as marketing is expected to detect , anticipate and satisfy customer desires profitably , thus forming and sustaining the interface between consumer needs and companies market aspirations. There are problems in achieving a general agreement on the ethics in marketing stem resulted from the lack of uniform philosophical arguments of what is “good” and whereas “good” and “ethical” have matching meaning. Kant’s (1788) had an utilitarian and deontological views on ethics based on reason,intention and duty. He states that duties cannot be connected with self-interest expressed in expected payoffs or...
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