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BNELIT - Datenbank zu Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung: wissenschaftliche Literatur und Materialien
Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung: wiss. Literatur und Materialien (BNELIT)
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Developing a contemporary conceptualization for consumer sciences in higher education in the UK.
Zeitschriftenausgabe (-> Ref.Nr):
International Journal of Consumer Studies
Seite (von-bis):
Consumer sciences and consumer studies as a recent interdisciplinary degree area in higher education in the UK has had limited published research either on the subject heritage or its disciplinary identity. Since the major subject review was undertaken by the Council for National Academic Awards 17years ago, the research investigation aimed to study how consumer studies and home economics had moved to consumer sciences and consumer studies. The research has therefore involved a survey over a 15-year period of development and changes of institutions and degrees and a content analysis of programme outlines and national benchmarking to reveal changing trends in how the subject has been conceptualized. The comparison used data from 1992, 1999, 2003 and 2007 to map degree programme and institutional changes. External and internal political and economic factors influenced subject growth, decline and development. It was found that the number of degree programme titles had remained relatively stable, with still a balance between BA and BSc degrees but that this disguised many changes in institutions and degree titles. The content analysis of trends was undertaken, comparing 1992, 1999, 2003 and 2007. Subject benchmarking statements introduced in 2002, currently being revised in 2009, were compared with programme content themes in 2003 and 2007. The content analysis showed that the overall approach or principles, areas of study, context, perspectives and processes for degree programmes at the undergraduate level had developed noticeably over the last 15years and had been clarified by benchmarking guidelines. Themes of behavioural change, consumer ethics, consumer services, skills and education, sustainability and well-being had developed with applied contexts depending on programme orientation. A model has been proposed to illustrate the current conceptualization of the subject in the UK at degree level, and Chenoweth's definition of consumer sciences and consumer studies has been redefined for the UK. It is recommended that there should be more theoretical reflection on the interpretation and development of the subject.