Shopping for a better world? An interpretive study of the potential for ethical consumption within the older market

Marylyn Carrigan, Isabelle Szmigin, Joanne Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

169 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents an interpretive study of older consumers and their potential for ethical consumption. Although latterly marketers are recognising the value of older consumers, research has not yet examined their attitudes and behaviour towards ethical consumption. From the collection of individual interviews conducted for this study, it would seem that older people share a sense of moral responsibility in their purchase behaviour, and as a community are willing to engage in affirmative purchasing and boycotting. Although there are perceived barriers to their participation in broader ethical purchasing activities, they would appear to be a potentially significant force in the consumer resistance movement. The findings suggest that as a group, older consumers should be considered as an important target market for ethical marketers who wish to benefit from their collective sense of social obligation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-417
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Consumer Marketing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes



  • Consumer behaviour
  • Consumption
  • Ethics
  • Older consumers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing

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