A) Develop an analysis of how we interact with an aspect of the current media environment that makes visible the relationship of producer and consumer within this structure that you see as unbalanced or leading to social apathy and develop a strategy to effectively change the way we interact in this environment to strengthen community and public participation.
My final project is aimed at promoting conscious consumerism. In today’s society the average consumer has little-to-no knowledge of how the products he/she consumes come about. Consumers are often unaware of, or worse, apathetic towards, the production and in turn, exploitation, that goes into the products that they consume. Today, consumer culture is at an all time high, in which consumers can purchase goods with just the click of a button and have no knowledge of, or concern for, the negative externalities against workers, communities, and the environment that their uninformed purchase perpetuates. Yet this is not entirely at the consumer’s fault. Corporations do not want their costumers to see the negative and exploitative aspects that go into the making of their goods and especially, into keeping those goods at a competitively low price. My project, therefore, will be a website that promotes transparency in product production and easy access to goods that are made in sustainable and exploitation-free ways. The goal of my website will be to promote a consumer system in which consumers can be informed of more sustainable products and ultimately, through an increased demand for ethically made products, corporations will be inclined to shift to more ethical production processes in order to remain competitive.
I believe that through the concept of “dollar voting” consumers can use their purchasing power to shift not just they way they choose to shop, but the way companies choose to make their products. My plan is to create a website with a few core features. These features will include a mission statement supporting conscious consumerism, an online shopping center divided by category, and a forum section in which awareness can be raised against companies with bad practices and how action might be taken against these companies. The most important parts of the website, however, will be aimed at diminishing social apathy against ethical consumerism through providing transparency and hopefully, making ethical consumerism the more affordable and competitive option. While there will be a “get involved” feature to the website, the main involvement and activism will be done through the consumers’ purchasing of ethical products.