From consumers to citizens: reclaiming identity
Jon Alexander outlines the importance of appealing to people as Citizens not just as Consumers and supporting evidence and trials.
Jon Alexander (Twitter: @JonJAlex, LinkedIn), founder of the New Citizenship Project (Twitter: @NewCitProj) and PhD in Applied Ethics candidate, explains the importance of appealing to people as Citizens not just Consumers. He draws on the direct social psychology findings (e.g. like this) and their philosophical implications, together with his experience of working for the National Trust on campaigns like MyFarm and the National Planning Policy Framework. He proposes two key points of view:
- that the language of the Consumer should be carefully avoided by campaigners
- that as a matter of practice, encouraging people to DO something and become involved, not merely transact with you (though possibly both), will be a more fruitful approach for campaigning, helping build the foundations as well as driving immediate action.
Jon Alexander of the New Citizenship Project was speaking at the 2014 eCampaigning Forum in Oxford, UK.