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The Advent of Practice Theories in Research on Sustainable Consumption: Past, Current and Future Directions of the Field

Filippo Corsini (), Rafael Laurenti (), Franziska Meinherz (), Francesco Appio () and Luca Mora ()
Additional contact information
Filippo Corsini: Istituto di Management, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, 56127 Pisa, Italy
Rafael Laurenti: ITM School of Industrial Engineering and Management, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Franziska Meinherz: Laboratory for Human-Environment Relations in Urban Systems, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne EPFL, Station 2, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
Luca Mora: The Business School, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh EH14 1DJ, UK

Sustainability, 2019, vol. 11, issue 2, 1-19

Abstract: The application of practice theories in the domain of sustainability research in consumer studies is increasingly advocated based on the premise that this allows to analyse consumption as a social phenomenon. Consequently, the applications of social practice theories to this field are expanding geometrically and to date, little retrospective work on this evolution has been made. We conduct a bibliometric analysis of applications of practice theories in the domain of sustainability research in consumer studies. Our results show a temporal succession of research trends: ‘consumer identity’ dominated the field between 2009 and 2012, ‘business and governance’ between 2012 and 2014, ‘sustainable consumption and production’ between 2013 and 2014, ‘urban living and policy’ between 2014 and 2015 and ‘household energy’ from 2015 until the present. We see a high potential of future applications of practice theories in the fields of the sharing and circular economy, as well as in research on smart cities. We provide new insights into the evolution and future trends of applications of social practice theory to domains that are relevant for research on sustainability and consumer studies.

Keywords: sustainability; sustainable consumption; bibliometric analysis; practice theory; circular economy; sharing economy; smart city (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Working Paper: The Advent of Practice Theories in Research on Sustainable Consumption: Past, Current and Future Directions of the Field (2019)
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