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Übersicht Referenten und Diskutanten

Juliet B. Schor


(Photo: Jan Konitzki) vergrößern

Juliet Schor ist Professorin für Soziologie am Boston College. Ihre Forschungsschwerpunkte sind ökologische Nachhaltigkeit und ihr Bezug zu amerikanischen Wirtschafts- und Lebensstilen sowie die Entstehung einer Bewegung bewussten Konsums.  Vor ihrer Tätigkeit am Boston College unterrichtete sie 17 Jahre an der Fakultät für Wirtschaftswissenschaften der Harvard University. Sie ist Vorstandsmitglied und Mitbegründerin des Center for a New American Dream, einer Organisation, die zum Wandel des nordamerikanischen Lebensstils beitragen will, um diesen ökologischer und sozialer zu gestalten. Darüber hinaus unterrichtet sie am Schumacher College - internationales Zentrum für Ökologische Studien im Südwesten Englands. Außerdem ist sie Autorin diverser Sachbücher.

Wie wir sind. Ausprägung, Ursachen und Folgen der westlichen Konsumkultur
(Kurzfassung des Vortrags)

In 2008 the global economic system came frighteningly close to collapse, saved only by massive injections of cash and government guarantees. In 2009, the scientific community warned that climatic collapse is also on the horizon. These twin crises can only be solved together - as ecological scarcity will progressively make food, energy and consumer goods more expensive, at the same time that jobs, income and credit are also in short supply. The standard view is that sacrifice is on the horizon.

In this talk I explain why austerity is the wrong response and how standard approaches - taxation, technology or even a slowdown in growth - cannot achieve true efficiency and future abundance, because the core principles of economic functioning are transformed by the need to preserve nature. Based on my recent book, Plenitude, I will discuss how millions of Americans are moving away from the work-and-spend cycle of American consumerism and are creating a time-abundant, small-scale, ecologically-light, high-satisfaction economy. I explain how current economic realities are propelling this change and how following 4 principles (time abundance, high-tech self-providing, true materialism and recapitalization of the social) will be the basis of a new, sustainable future. Elaborating these 4 principles will allow us to consider issues of scale, productivity growth and work hours, the culture of consumption and the role of social capital in a sustainable future.

Ausgewählte Veröffentlichungen

Plenitude: the New Economics of True Wealth. Penguin Press, New York (2010)

Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture. Scribner, New York (2004)

Sustainable Planet: Solutions for the 21st Century. Beacon Press, Boston (mit Betsy Taylor) (2002)

Ausgewählte Zitate

"In this country, the excessive orientation to private consumption has squeezed these other things, which I would argue yield more welfare to people once they reach the middle class. More savings, more leisure time and more public consumption would raise wellbeing more than extra VCRs, cashmere sweaters and shifting from a regular car to an SUV.  But the dynamics of production and consumption in the United States are heavily biased in the direction of private consumption."

Interview: Journal of Consumer Culture, 5, 2005

"Large numbers of people could be made better off, if we could agree to slow down together. National income has been rising for the last 20 years, but measures of the quality of life have fallen. And by the way, what's wrong with a moral message? Those who like it can listen. And those who don't are free to disagree or ignore. I have no qualms talking about values and morality even as I try to analyze our society."

Interview: TIME Magazine, May 20, 1998

 "The decline of public goods, such as education, recreation, and culture, has led us into a vicious cycle in which we need more money to purchase private alternatives: Discovery Zone rather than the local playground. But that move to private substitutes further weakens support for the public good. What I argue in my book is that the intensification of competition in private status goods is in part creating pressures on income which undermines support for public goods."

Interview: TIME Magazine, May 20, 1998

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Wie wir sind. Ausprägung, Ursachen und Folgen der westlichen Konsumkultur


Vortragsfolien (pdf)