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The Social Construction of Bottled Water Consumption in New Zealand

This thesis examines the ways in which bottled water consumption is socially constructed and associated with place, nature, gender and health. Consuming bottled water is related to ideas of both sustaining the environment and the body. I explore how performances of both the environment and consuming bodies constitute each other. Consumer performances in Hamilton and various visual and textual representations illustrate spatialities, socialities and subjectivities of bottled water consumption. Geographies of consumption and feminist geographies and methodologies provide the framework for my research. I conducted eleven semi-structured interviews on the Waikato University Campus in Hamilton with participants different in age, gender and ethnicity. Bottled water advertising in international and national lifestyle magazines and newspapers, as well as bottled water websites, are also examined through the lens of critical discourse analysis. The first part of this thesis focuses on bottled water consumption in regard to the environment and explores how the natural and pure image of bottled water is currently linked to notions of green and sustainable consumption. The second part examines the embodiment of the environment in regards to sustaining healthy, pregnant, sporty, sexed and 'green' bodies while looking at gender, health, and consumer performances and subjectivities. Linking bottled water consumption to the environment and the body not only enriches geographies of consumption but also emphasises the paradoxes associated with consuming bottled water.
Type of thesis
Kunze, I. M. (2008). The Social Construction of Bottled Water Consumption in New Zealand (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/2497
The University of Waikato
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