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Digital Consumption and Socio-normative Vulnerability

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Rama Kanungo, Professor Suraksha Gupta, Dr Rui Liu



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


Digital consumption is expanding human boundaries and offering us unprecedented opportunities, while simultaneously redefining human capabilities, eroding individuality, and compromising ethical purpose; this is giving rise to a condition of digital consumerism through technological overdependence. Individuals' self-preserving autonomy, reasoning, ideologies, and ethical status are being compromised due to a growing compulsion for digital consumption, which is leading to the onset of digital harm. This study offers novel insights into the technological interventions that are giving rise to excessive digital consumption leading to digital harm. It also suggests how the effects of such harm can be mitigated through the lenses of two complementary theories: Self-determination theory (SDT) and Agentic theory. We identify five constructs of digital harm through epistemic discourse analysis and use thematic analysis to examine how the digital harm that affects individual rationality, maturity and autonomy can be mitigated by practising attributes of SDT and Agentic theory. This study shows the extent to which SDT and Agentic theory can help to explain how people collectively conceptualize, adapt, define and use the technology that constrains them as self-realizing rational beings.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kanungo RP, Gupta S, Patel P, Prikshat V, Liu R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Technological Forecasting & Social Change

Year: 2022

Volume: 182

Pages: 121808

Print publication date: 07/09/2022

Online publication date: 24/06/2022

Acceptance date: 07/06/2022

Date deposited: 18/07/2022

ISSN (electronic): 0040-1625

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2022.121808

ePrints DOI: 10.57711/cxke-cj13


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