February 5, 2016

Consumption and Sustainability, Boston College (originally taught at Yale, Forestry School), 2010-2012

  • Lecturer: Juliet Schor
  • Length and format: Mixed grad/undergraduate. 150 minutes per week. 12-14 week semesters
  • Credits: 3
  • Associated degree: BA, MA and PhD, sociology. May also count in environmental studies.
  • Student profile:
    • Most times it has been MA students (when taught at Yale).
    • At Boston College, both undergraduates (liberal arts) and graduate students in Sociology
  • Class size: 15
  • Teacher’s background: PhD in economics, now in Sociology
  • Course duration: First given spring 2010. Then 2011 and 2012. Not since then.
  • Syllabus: Download as PDF
  • Focus: This course addresses the role of consumption in achieving sustainability, considering challenges such as the scale of consumption in the global north, the spread of consumer culture globally, and the role of particular highly damaging goods and services. Includes a consideration of ecologically significant cases (food, energy, and lifestyle) and the complex politics of sustainable consumption.
  • Theoretical approach: socio-cultural perspectives, bringing foundational theories of consumption and consumer culture into dialog with the contemporary sustainability literature.
  • Course evaluation: very much appreciated by Yale students, class was requested again after first offer. Course was also well received at Boston College.