This master thesis aims to contribute to the broader study of opinion leaders as new media in the context of social change promotion. Scholars have been studying different aspects of positive influence of the media and the ways of making this influence, proving the effectiveness of marketing techniques for media promotion of social objectives. Despite this, opinion leaders, as members of virtual communities, are mostly examined from a profit gaining business perspective and not from the perspective of possible social change promotion. The aim of this paper is to fulfill this gap, and this has been done by studying the case of sustainable fashion bloggers in the Netherlands. In particular, the nature of the values that Dutch sustainable fashion influencers communicate when speaking of sustainable consumption and the way in which those values are communicated are examined. The results have revealed that the opinion leaders were not proved to be promoting a consumers’ behavior change towards constrained consumption. Instead, they were mostly promoting green consumerism and using the specific virtual community of sustainable fashion for selfish (fulfilling the wish to become visible, popular and influential) and commercial purposes. The sustainable consumption values were mostly presented as controversial, to some extent utopic and were communicated in such a way that the audience’s existing values (the values of consumerism) were reinforced. This thesis provides new insights into the understanding of influencers as media in the context of potential promotion of consumers’ behavior change towards constrained consumption, as well as it outlines a way to resolve the Jevon paradox which might be examined closer by researchers in the future.

Additional Metadata
Keywords media, culture, society, sustainable consumption, green consumerism, voluntary simplicity, opinion leaders, virtual communities
Thesis Advisor Ana Cinthya Uribe Sandoval
Persistent URL hdl.handle.net/2105/44184
Series Media, Culture & Society
Citation
Daria Kuvshinova. (2018, September 21). Sustainable consumption or green consumerism? - A study on Dutch sustainable fashion blogging. Media, Culture & Society. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/44184