Sustainability and new models of consumption: the Solidarity Purchasing Groups in Sicily

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Social embeddedness, defined as the interaction of economic activities and socialbehavior, is used in this study as a conceptual tool to describe the growingphenomenon of food community networks (FCNs). The aim in this paper was to mapthe system of relations which the FCNs develop both inside and outside the networkand, from the number of relations, it was inferred the influence of each FCN upon theformation of new socially embedded economic realities. A particular form of FCN wastaken under consideration: solidarity purchase groups (SPGs). Performed with the aidof social network analysis on a sample of SPGs in Sicily (a region in southern Italy), thestudy allowed us to identify a relational (internal) social embeddedness, in whichgroups of consumers and farmers are directly influenced by reciprocal interactions,giving rise to more or less numerous links of reciprocity and trust depending on thenumber of interactions. It was also identified a structural (external) socialembeddedness, generated by the nature of relations that the SPGs undertake with thevarious social actors. From the results of our analysis it emerges that SPGs lie at theintersection of many social phenomena, influencing them and in turn being influencedby such phenomena. We highlight the major role played by consumer andenvironmental associations in affecting the phenomenon of social embeddedness.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)281-303
Numero di pagine23
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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  • ???subjectarea.asjc.1200.1202???
  • ???subjectarea.asjc.1100.1101???
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