Everyday dramas of conscience: navigating identity through creative neutralisation

Douglas Brownlie, Elaine Ritch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The paper seeks to recuperate autonomy within debates around identity as the discursive construction of self through exploring impacts claimed for the ‘greening’ of intensive mothering discourse. It argues that facets of ideologies of ethical and sustainable consumption are inscribed within this discourse, authorising identity work and furnishing everyday provisioning routines with significance and uncertainty; and that related social practices that are marked for ‘greening’ diligence or disapproval are not merely situated and productive, but transformative of mothering identities, roles and norms. We report the findings of an exploratory study of a group of professional working mothers as they negotiate the competing and conflictual spaces of doing ‘green’ mothering, opening an analytical window on the diversity of everyday practices that characterise how informants negotiate stricture and ambivalence in creative ways, using consumption to make space for personal identity projects. Through socializing ‘sustainability’ in this way we contribute to our understanding of the social surrogacy of brands (Sherry et al, 2009) and its problematics.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAcademy of Marketing Conference 2015
Subtitle of host publicationThe Magic of Marketing
PublisherAcademy of Marketing
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781905952649
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2015


  • sustainability
  • green mothering
  • children
  • fashion
  • consumption


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