Exploring the window of opportunity for sustainable fresh produce consumption in Vietnam. Beyond the western paradigms of consumption
01 / 2008 - 01 / 2012
The theory of ecological modernization has for long been an overly western field of interest and is strongly rooted in western paradigms of consumption. In understanding the opportunities for bringing about more sustainable ways of consumption in non-western societies, like the South East Asian region, the western oriented theory falls short in a way that little empirical research has been conducted to assess the global applicability of the theory. The increasing importance of non-western countries, however, urges for a more targeted approach towards sustainable consumption. The sociological theory of ecological modernization of consumption, which argues for consumer involvement, is in this respect an interesting point of departure (Spaargaren 2000; Spaargaren 2000; Spaargaren 2006). Although this theory was also developed from within a western perspective, the principle of consumer involvement touches upon cultural heritage and therewith includes locality. This research builds upon the case fresh food consumption within the urban areas of Vietnam: exploring the opportunities for bringing about more safe fresh produce consumption on the crossroad of traditional cultural heritage and new globalizing dynamics.
The objective of this research project is twofold: 1. Generic theoretical objective: Assessing the applicability of the theory on the non-western society of Vietnam and identifying, if needed, to what extend the theory needs modification in order to be applicable. 2. Case specific objective: In applying the research on the non-western case of Vietnam, the research aims at identifying opportunities for bringing about more sustainable fresh produce consumption practices in Vietnam, through gaining a deeper understanding of the relation and dynamics between local cultural tradition and ongoing globalisation at the consumption junction.