The 2008 economic downturn has undermined economic security for many, bringing in its wake increased levels of unemployment and under-employment—especially for youth—along with reductions in wealth and heightened economic fear and insecurity. Almost simultaneously, public attention to the looming environmental crisis of climate change has accelerated, inspiring everything from “green consumption” to government-led initiatives to combat environmental degradation. A “new economy” conversation has emerged that focuses on visions of resilience and sustainability, in which stronger, more connected communities become the social fabric for an ecologically balanced economy of extra-market and new-market enterprises. The new economy initiatives are oriented to high satisfaction, egalitarian outcomes, low eco-footprints, and enhanced levels of learning. Connected consumption is one part of these visions of resilience and sustainability.
For more information on this project, and to access the articles written on it to date, see our Connected Consumption and Connected Economy Research page.
Consumer society and consumer culture, working hours and lifestyles, environmental degradation, the emergence of a sustainable consumption and production sector, including political consumption and the new sharing economy, and alternative, sustainable economies and societies. Schor is the founder and organizer of the Summer Institute in New Economics, a week-long workshop for Ph.D. students.
Juliet Schor’s research has focused on issues of work, consumption and sustainability. Her “work and spend” cycle is an integrated approach to production and consumption that emphasizes the sociological dynamics that determine spending. Most recently she is working on issues of sustainable consumption and production, with particular emphasis on political consumption, new patterns of time-use, alternative economic structures, and climate change. As a member of a MacArthur Research Network she is studying the emergence of the sharing economy. She is also a lead author of the chapter on Consumption and Climate Change for the ASA Task Force on Climate Change.
Courses Typically Taught
SOCY1025 - People and Nature
SOCY7771 - Consumer Society
SOCY7763- Topics in Environmental Sociology
Recent Awards and professional accomplishments
Radcliffe Institute Fellow, 2014-15
ASA Public Understanding of Sociology Award, 2014
MacArthur Foundation grantee and research network member
Carpenter Award, Economics Division, Babson College, February 2013
Herman Daly Award from the US Society for Ecological Economics, 2011
Leontief Award from Tufts University, 2006
Senior Fellow, Center for Humans and Nature, 2011
Sustainable Lifestyles and the Quest for Plenitude: Case Studies of the New Economy. 2014. eds Juliet B. Schor and Craig J. Thompson (New Haven: Yale University Press).
True Wealth: how and why millions of Americans are creating a time-rich, ecologically-light, small-scale, high-satisfaction economy (paperback version of Plenitude) (Penguin 2011). Video version entitled The New Economics 101: True Wealth in the New Economy, Media Education Foundation. 2013.
“Climate Discourse and Economic Downturns: The case of the United States, 2008-2013,” Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, forthcoming 2014.
“An emerging eco-habitus: the reconfiguration of high cultural capital practices among ethical consumers,” Journal of Consumer Culture, July 2014. (with Luka Carfagna, Emilie Dubois, Connor Fitzmaurice, Thomas Laidley, Monique Ouimette, and Margaret Willis)
“Could Working Less Reduce Pressures on the Environment?: A Cross-National Panel Analysis of OECD Countries, 1970-2007, Global Environmental Change, 2013. (with Kyle W. Knight and Eugene A. Rosa)
Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture (New York: Scribner), September 2004.
“Does Changing a Light Bulb Lead to Changing the World? Civic Engagement and the Ecologically Conscious Consumer,” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 2013 (with Margaret Willis).
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