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Title: Towards sustainable consumption : factors influencing divestment in clothing, furniture and mobile phones
Author: Encino Muñoz, Ana Gabriela
ISNI:       0000 0004 8510 5708
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2020
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Existing research has shown how contemporary patterns of consumption have become a major constraint to achieve sustainability. Due to the potential that the end-of-life of durable goods has for optimising consumption cycles, this thesis aims to contribute to the discussion by investigating the divestment process and its elements. Divestment refers to the moment when material possessions fall into disuse and a physical or emotional separation between owners and their possessions occurs. This study investigates divestment as a social practice, in order to situate it in the consumer culture as a sociohistorical setting. To this end, two different countries were selected for comparison: Mexico and the United Kingdom, in order to highlight how culture can influence the divestment process. Three different products were selected (clothing, furniture and mobile phones) and a mixed methods approach was used to investigate the divestment process and its constituent elements. The quantitative stage identified different consumers profiles from which interviewees for the qualitative strand were selected. Findings illustrate that divestment is a complex multi-layered process that is shaped by four main factors: the contextual factors, the situational factors, the sociohistorical factors, and the material agency. The study identified similarities in the channels used for divestment in both countries. However, differences were found in the frequency in which channels and the negotiations for using them occur. The negotiation of divestment outcomes seems to be a balance of intellectual and physical efforts that the owner needs to dedicate towards the divestment. These efforts are contextually mediated and have an impact on the preferred channels of divestment. Finally, this thesis discusses the implications of findings of the study for the design disciplines. Conclusions also suggest that a culturally-informed perspective on divestment can generate a more effective agenda for the recirculation of materials and products towards more sustainable ways of consumption.
Supervisor: Sumner, Mark ; Sinha, Pammi ; Carnie, Bruce Sponsor: CONACyT
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available