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Boston College Professor Juliet Schor Receives Award from American Sociological Association

recipient of the asa's 2014 public understanding of sociology award

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (April 2014) – Boston College Professor of Sociology Juliet Schor has been named winner of the 2014 Public Understanding of Sociology Award given by the American Sociological Association. The award is presented annually to a person who has made exemplary contributions to advance the public understanding of sociology, sociological research, and scholarship among the general public.

Schor’s scholarship has been focused on topics such as American consumer culture and the relationship between environmental sustainability and consumption. She is the best-selling author of several books, including Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth, Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture, The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don’t Need and The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure.

Juliet Schor

She is a co-founder of the Center for a New American Dream, a national sustainability organization.

Schor said that she is gratified to receive this award, as it recognizes the contributions that scholars make to the larger world outside the academy. “To influence the public’s understanding of the pressing issues of our day is, for me, a cherished achievement. I’m especially pleased to receive the award after writing a book on the urgency of climate change,” she said.

In her award nomination, a colleague wrote of Schor: “I have observed with awe her non-stop tenacious efforts to diffuse powerful sociological analyses to influence both debate and action on some of the most challenging issues of our time. As a result her work has been taken up as potent blueprints for change by policymakers, social movement organizations, civil society, and activists of all stripes. Schor was one of the first influential voices advocating ‘downshifting’ lifestyles as a way in which citizens could tackle problems of consumerism. Her most recent book, Plenitude, is the most ambitious of all: seeking to connect the dots between the ‘business-as-usual’ economy, consumerism, and impending ecological crises as we overshoot the planet’s boundaries. This inspiring analysis has put Schor at the forefront of the global sustainability movement.”

Schor has written articles for the Economic Journal, The Review of Economics and Statistics, The Journal of Economic Psychology, Ecological Economics, The Journal of Industrial Ecology, and Social Problems, among many other journals. She has served as a consultant to the United Nations, at the World Institute for Development Economics Research, and to the United Nations Development Program. Schor has lectured widely throughout the United States, Europe and Japan to a variety of civic, business, labor and academic groups, and has appeared frequently in national and international media.

Founded in 1905, the American Sociological Association is a non-profit, national organization of more than 13,000 university faculty, researchers, students and practitioners dedicated to promoting the vitality, visibility, and diversity of the sociology discipline. The Public Understanding of Sociology Award will be presented to Schor this summer at the American Sociological Association’s annual meeting.


--Kathleen Sullivan, Office of News & Public Affairs,