Katz-Gerro, T., Cvetičanin, P. , & Leguina, A. (2017) Consumption and Social Change: Sustainable Lifestyles in Times of Economic Crisis, in Brown, H., Cohen, M. & Vergragt, P. (eds.) Social Change and the Coming of Post-consumer Society: Theoretical Advances and Policy Implications, London: Routledge, pp. 95-124.


This chapter discusses sustainable lifestyles from the point of view of individuals and households living under conditions of economic crisis in four countries located in southeastern Europe (Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and Slovenia). In the past 25 years these countries have been exposed to the effects of three social processes that have caused tectonic changes: 1) the violent dissolution of the country of which they were previously constituent parts, 2) the post-socialist transformation that transpired, and 3) the effects of the post-2007 economic crisis - which consequently drastically changed lifestyles of their citizens and their consumption practices. In this chapter we focus on the micro – level detailing the effect of the crisis on the daily lives of individuals, the way it has changed lifestyles, and the manner in which people have adjusted their consumption patterns to new economic situation and, on the other hand, their material and social needs. The data analyzed are comprised of surveys of probability samples of 3,906 respondents in total, conducted in 2015. The analysis is based on three groups of questions used to reconstruct the production and consumption lifestyles and strategies of households: 1) the influence of the crisis on households; 2) household production capacities and practices; 3) household consumption during time of crisis. Using Multiple Correspondence Analysis (MCA) we found that in all four countries two basic dimensions structure the field of lifestyles and household strategies: 1) whether the household is treated as a production or consumption unit, and 2) whether the household has a proactive or reactive approach to the economic crisis. Combining these dimensions leads to emergence of five types of household strategies—productive proactive, productive reactive, consumer proactive, and consumer reactive—along with a fifth group made up of clusters with mixed characteristics.

For further details click here