December • 2011 

Top News

Flourishing in Consumer-Based Societies 
Transformative Consumer Research for Personal and Collective Well-Being, co-edited by David Mick, explores the pitfalls and promises of well-being in a modern consumer-based society.



In the 4th century B.C., Aristotle asked, what does it mean to flourish? How can people tap into their potential to live a life of happiness, wisdom, and well-being?

A pioneering new book, Transformative Consumer Research for Personal and Collective Well-Being, edited by McIntire Professor David Mick, along with Simone Pettigrew, Cornelia Pechmann, and Julie Ozanne, explores those timeless questions—but from a uniquely modern perspective. Calling upon the work of acclaimed international researchers, each chapter focuses on the very stuff of modern life: behaviors connected with marketing, buying, and consuming.

The book tackles such issues as childhood obesity; credit card mismanagement; alcohol, tobacco, pornography, and gambling abuse; marketplace discrimination; and ecological deterioration. Finding that more of everything is clearly not the royal road to well-being, the book also examines empowering consumer behaviors, including product sharing, healthy leisure pursuits, positive family interactions, and pro-environmental activities.

Worldwatch Institute Senior Fellow Erik Assadourian says of Transformative Consumer Research for Personal and Collective Well-Being, “Just like the typical shopping mall, this book offers something tempting for everyone—whether you’re a researcher, practitioner, reformer, student, or simply a curious consumer. But unlike most stuff at the mall, the ideas on display here won’t make you fat and broke and degrade the environment, but instead, they provide new insights on how we can consume sustainably, healthily, and wisely on a changing and increasingly constrained planet.”

McIntire faculty members who contributed chapters to Transformative Consumer Research for Personal and Collective Well-Being include Mick, James Burroughs, and Amar Cheema. All royalties from sales of the book will be donated to the Association for Consumer Research to support grants for future research on consumption and well-being.

The transformative consumer research movement was launched in 2005 by way of Mick’s presidential address to the Association for Consumer Research. The mission of TCR is to foster rigorous research on quality of life that can be applied to assist consumers, their caregivers, policy administrators, and executives. Mick, through research, editing, and helping to find funding sources, has played a central role in creating and energizing the subfield of consumer behavior now known as TCR.

Return to Exchange Home

Copyright by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia