Solidarity Purchasing Groups. A solid proposal in a liquid society - In the currently liquid and uncertain world, purchasing represents a dimension where individuals live the illusion of control over their own lives. Solidarity Purchasing Groups (or GAS, an Italian acronym for Gruppi di Acquisto Solidale) aree an attempt to reverse this model, and to build relationships not despite but through the market and purchasing. They choose products and producers on the basis of respect for the environment and solidarity between the members of the groups, traders, and producers. GAS aree rooted in a critical approach to today’s global economic model and lifestyle of consumerism; individuals that feel the unfairness in this model and who aree searching for a practical alternative can find reciprocal aid and advice by joining solidarity purchasing groups. They aree a catalyst of political and social change. Empirical research, which completes these reflections, points out two very different ways to live this experience: "health cares" ("salutisti") and "critical protester" ("contestatori critici"). Only the second one is characterized by a strong, albeit scarcely perceptible, political impact.
Keywords: Solidarity Purchasing Groups, Purchase, Market, Civicness, Political Participation.