Analysis Of Laura Portwood-Stacer's Anti-Consumption As Tactical Resistance

1560 Words7 Pages
Laura Portwood-Stacer’s article “Anti-Consumption as Tactical Resistance: Anarchist, Subculture, and Activist Strategy” defines anti-consumption as a way of life in an attempt to stray from the straightforward definition of anti-consumption as an actual abstinence of consumption. She examines the practices of anti-consumption in the daily lives of anarchist activists as a means to demonstrate the cultural and political significance of resistance and its potential effects on society. According to Portwood-Stacer, the individual’s motivations and values play a significant role in their consumption activities, behaviors and attitude. She demonstrates the practice of anti-consumption as propelled from concepts of personal, moral, identificatory,…show more content…
After discussing and demonstrating the types of motivations: personal, moral, activist, identifcatory, and social, she ends the article by contradicting her stance by stating that there continues to be uncertainty within these practices. Her inclusion and description of the interviewee, Leo, who had left the anarchist lifestyle as “clean, unmarred by tattoos or piercings etc.” served to weaken her argument that the anti-consumption movement is not one in which people are not easily swayed into this lifestyle. This contradiction can be seen in the interviewee Mathew’s explanation of his decision to become an anarchist, “In all honesty I was just going with the flow!” (Portwood-Stacer, 99). This poor choice of participants clearly harmed the author’s argument that states that there exists a definite purpose for exercising anti-consumption lifestyles. Additionally, Portwood-Stacker falls into the stereotype of radical anti-consumption being hard-core “hippies” because of the lack of variety in her research participants. This further support of the main stream’s view of “hippies” traps her in the ideology that she is trying to break. Her general description of her interviewees as grungy, pierced, tattooed, and uneducated, fails to support the argument that individual motivations and values play a very important role in their consumption activities and behaviors. According to Hall…show more content…
In this manner, she describes veganism as a “political solidarity with non-human creatures,” collective living as practice to “spend less on rent, groceries, utility bills and other household expenditures,” dumpster diving as an “act of protest against the wastefulness of the commercial retail system…” (Portwood-Stacer, 91-94). While these descriptions are correct and the intentions behind this description may not have been to appear shallow, it comes off appearing as if it is trying to oversimplify these lifestyles, therefore jeopardizing her claim. It would have served her purpose of thoroughly explaining these lifestyle practices better if she had incorporated more information on how these practices derived, spread and continue to exist within a system that works to eradicate them. This way, it would have given her argument a more balanced weight of facts and opinions. On the other hand, Portwood-Stacer does a good job of describing the different motivations to lead anti-consumption lifestyle but not detailed description and history of the actual aspects of these different lifestyles. It would have helped if she compared and contrasted the different communities, and how each originated and became its own entity. How they are all connected and what keeps them

More about Analysis Of Laura Portwood-Stacer's Anti-Consumption As Tactical Resistance

Open Document