Hybrid consumer activism in Fairtrade Towns: exploring digital consumer activism through spatiality

Roberta Discetti*, Matthew Anderson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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This paper aims to explore digital consumer activism through a spatial lens, in order to understand how digital and place-based consumer activism intersect and interact. The empirical context is provided by Fairtrade Towns activism in the UK, investigated through netnographic methods. Three main spatialized tactics of digital consumer activism emerged from the analysis: emplacing the digital space; territorialising ethical consumption; and materialising digital activism. Building on these, we theorise hybrid consumer activism as a form of consumer activism whereby activists display belonging and identity both in physical and digital ‘places’, draw boundaries around spaces of ethical consumption through localised and digital collective action, and form hybrid digital ties. This study contributes to existing scholarship by taking into account placed and spatialized dimensions of digital consumer activism and by questioning the dichotomy between digital and place-based activism through the concept of ‘hybrid consumer activism’.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalConsumption Markets & Culture
Early online date29 Nov 2022
Publication statusEarly online - 29 Nov 2022


  • digital activism
  • consumer activism
  • consumer communities
  • netnography
  • market-based activism
  • Fairtrade Towns


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