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The Gospel of SustainabilityMedia, Market, and LOHAS$
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Monica M. Emerich

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036422

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036422.001.0001

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The Collective Conscience

The Collective Conscience

(p.160) 7. The Collective Conscience
The Gospel of Sustainability

Monica M. Emerich

University of Illinois Press

This chapter deals with LOHAS in the context of “community-building” and the formation of a collective conscience. LOHAS is ultimately a narrative about how to change the world using consumer culture. The lens of globalization is used to examine how LOHAS attempts, on the one hand, to overcome a legacy of anthropocentrism, Eurocentrism, cultural and economic imperialism, and Westernization in capitalism, while, on the other hand, self-consciously reinforcing the capitalist imperative to sell more and different things to more people. As a market-based movement and as a claim to a reformatory effort, LOHAS is only as successful as the quantity of consumers and producers that support its premises. With its sweeping global agenda, LOHAS texts try to position the concept as a nonpartisan movement, one based on commonalities rather than differences. This chapter is a study of the rise of community and collectivity in LOHAS culture, which is chiefly occurring through mediated means, particularly through social media. It historicizes LOHAS within social movements, examining the importance of media and the central role of communication in democratic efforts. This sets the stage for a closer look at the ways in which media and market enable and disable participation in the communication process. An important part of this is the working of ideology in the construction of truth claims.

Keywords:   Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability, LOHAS, community-building, collective conscience, social media, social movements, truth claims

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