Lay Concepts of Art, Craft, and Manufacture and the Implications for Sustainable Consumption

Madeline Judge*, Julian W. Fernando, Angela Paladino, Gosia Mikolajczak, Yoshihisa Kashima

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


An object's creation history plays an important role in how we perceive, value, and interact with that object, and has consequences for policy on sustainable consumption. Here, we propose that laypeople in industrialized societies have three dominant concepts of how objects can be created: art, craft, and manufacture. These concepts are differentiated by the perceived properties and environmental sustainability of objects, as well as the perceived capabilities of producers. In three experiments, we examined the consequences of framing an object's creation history as art, craft, or manufacture. In general, art and craft objects were valued more highly than manufactured objects, and this effect was partially mediated by the perceived transfer of positive emotional residue. Mass-produced goods may be treated as disposable consumables, whereas arts and crafts are more deserving of preservation. That this effect was stronger in Australia than China suggests that these effects may be related to a postmaterialist orientation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-34
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Social Issues
Issue number1
Early online date29-Jan-2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2020
Externally publishedYes


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