The purpose of this paper is to draw on data from 16 interviews (two each with eight women) to explore some of the ways in which everyday shopping may change as women become mothers. The meanings, practices and implications of the transition to motherhood have long been a topic for sociological inquiry. Recently, interest has turned to the opportunities offered by this transition for the adoption of more sustainable lifestyles. Becoming a mother is likely to lead to changes in a variety of aspects of everyday life such as travel, leisure, cooking and purchase of consumer goods, all of which have environmental implications. The environmental impacts associated with such changes are complex, and positive moves toward more sustainable activities in one sphere may be offset by less environmentally positive changes elsewhere.
This paper draws on data from 16 interviews (two each with eight women) to explore some of the ways in which everyday shopping may change as women become mothers.
This paper focuses on the ways in which modes and meanings of everyday shopping may shift through the transition to mother, and on indicating any potential sustainability implications. The paper explores the adoption of more structured shopping and of shifting the mode of grocery shopping online or offline. The paper draws attention to the way in which practices are embedded and interrelated and argue that more consideration needs to be given to the influence of all household members.
The question here is not whether women purchase different products or consume more once they have a child, but rather how does the everyday activity of shopping for groceries and the meanings it has change with new motherhood and what sustainability implications might this have? In this context, this paper provides a novel addition to research on new mothers and consumption.
The Sustainable Lifestyles Research Group (SLRG) is funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Economics and Social Research Council and the Scottish Government. The authors gratefully acknowledge this funding, the respondents for taking part in the research and the support of colleagues in SLRG. Thanks also to Lydia Martens and Mary Jane Kehily for really helpful comments on earlier drafts.
Burningham, K., Venn, S., Christie, I., Jackson, T. and Gatersleben, B. (2014), "New motherhood: a moment of change in everyday shopping practices?", Young Consumers, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 211-226. https://doi.org/10.1108/YC-11-2013-00411Download as .RIS
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