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Home > Focus > Prof. Claus Offe at Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative

Prof. Claus Offe at Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative

by Redazione FGB [1], 12 May 2014

On May 14th Jonathan Hankins will attend a colloquium at the Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative (SCORAI) [2] in Boston Massachusetts on behalf of the Bassetti Foundation.

The SCORAI Colloquium on Consumption and Social Change is a regular gathering of academics and policy professionals concerned with social change. It aims to build a knowledge base for greater understanding of how a transition beyond our contemporary consumerism-based culture and economy might take place. The Colloquium examines and synthesizes theories and empirical experiences of social change from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives.

The May 14 colloquium will be presided by Prof. Claus Offe, Professor of Political Science, Hertie School of Governance, Berlin and entitled Consumers into citizens. Social innovations for empowering households

The following is taken from Prof. Offe's abastract:

Much of the debate over the future of consumerist society starts with the following asymmetry: While investors have at their disposal strategies of technical and organizational change to increase "efficiency", i. e. the amount of output they get per unit of capital input, private households do not have analogous means to increase the volume of utility they get out of a given unit of household income. Under the pressure of increasing levels of poverty and inequality, consumer households have developed a number of strategies, both organizational and technical, to overcome this discrepancy - with the result of significant social changes both in quantitative terms ("efficiency of consumption") and qualitative terms ("critical consumption"). This presentation will offer a classification of consumer initiatives of this kind as well as strategies of both capital and the state to hinder and obstruct their implementation.

Other distinguished guests lined up include Erik Olin Wright, Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dorothy Holland, Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor at UNC at Chapel Hill, and David Snow, Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of California-Irvine.For more information see the colloquium page on their website [3].

Readers should find SCORAI an interesting organization. It is a knowledge network of professionals working at the interface of material consumption, human well-being, and technological change, whose mission is to facilitate a transition beyond the currently dominant consumer society. The goals of SCORAI are to provide an intellectual platform for scholars and practitioners in the field of sustainable consumption who are seeking: to better understand the drivers of the consumerist economy in affluent technological societies; to formulate options for post-consumerist lifestyles, social institutions, and economic systems; to provide the knowledge base for emerging processes of societal change through grassroots innovations, social movements, cultural transitions, and sociotechnical change.

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(photo: Shopping Trolley [4] by russellstreet from Flickr)

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  1. 1] /schedabiografica/Redazione FGB
  2. 2] http://scorai.org/
  3. 3] http://scorai.org/colloquium-on-consumption-and-social-change/
  4. 4] https://www.flickr.com/photos/russellstreet/4628551518
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cc - photo by russellstreet from Flickr
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