'You can't use this, and you mustn't do that': A qualitative study of non-consumption practices among Danish pregnant women and new mothers

Malene Gram*, Pernille Hohnen, Helle Dalsgaard Pedersen

*Corresponding author

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Anti-consumption literature focuses on consumers' reasons for avoiding certain products or brands emphasizing consumers' symbolic and/or political reasons for avoidance. Consumers' choices have assumedly been voluntary. In contrast, this article discusses anti-consumption as a less explicitly political but also less voluntary form of anti-consumption, termed non-consumption. The empirical data consist of nine in-depth interviews with Danish pregnant women and new mothers regarding potentially 'risky' products. The article shows how their avoidance of certain forms of consumption reflects their struggle to perceive themselves - and be perceived by others - as competent mothers(-to-be). Risk is avoided, minimized, modified or balanced against prevailing habits and discourses of womanhood such as the risk of parabens against ideals of beauty when using cosmetic products. The article contributes to the anti-consumption literature by offering insights into the highly normative but less explicitly political field of constrained consumption reflected in the everyday micro-consumption practices of Danish pregnant women and new mothers.

TidsskriftJournal of Consumer Culture
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)433-451
Antal sider19
StatusUdgivet - 1 jul. 2017
Udgivet eksterntJa

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