Issue 2004

Juliet Schor: The Politics of Consumption

  • Juliet Schor,
  • post-consumerist alternatives,
  • global inequability,
  • environmental stability,
  • Boston College,
  • Schumacher College,
  • Center for a New American Dream,
  • new consumerism,
  • output bias,
  • income solution
  • ...More


In recent years, Juliet B. Schor has established herself as one of North America's most prominent progressive analysts of consumer society, and one its most engaging and creative advocates for post-consumerist alternatives. Her intellectually incisive yet highly accessible work combines a sensitive understanding of consumerism's cultural and psychological dynamics with an awareness of its complex relationship to broader questions pertaining to work, leisure, global inequality, and environmental sustainability. Currently a Professor of Sociology at Boston College and an intermittent lecturer at Schumacher College in south-west England, Schor was formerly the Director of the Women's Studies Program at Harvard University. She is also a co-founder and current board member of the Center for a New American Dream, an organization whose mandate is to "help Americans consume responsibly to protect the environment, enhance quality of life and promote social justice." Schor's many writings include two highly-acclaimed best-selling books, The Overworked American: the Unexpected Decline of Leisure and The Overspent American: Upscaling, Downshifting, and the New Consumer. She has co-edited a number of influential collections, including The Consumer Society Reader (2000), Sustainable Planet: Solutions for the 21st Century (2002), and The Golden Age of Capitalism: Reinterpreting the Postwar Experience (1989). Her most recently completed book, Born to Buy: Marketing and the Transformation of Childhood and Culture, is slated to be released by Scribner in September of 2004.