MCS 5342 Sustainable Consumer Economy

Course Goals and Objectives:

By the end of the course students must be able to:
  • Understand how problems of sustainability can be analyzed using both neoclassical economics and family & consumer sciences theoretical perspectives.
  • Characterize the role of environmental, economic and social systems in the quality of life for individuals and families.
  • Identify various measures used to describe standard of living, quality of life and value for consumers.
  • Understand the ambivalent relationship between sustainability and marketing.
  • Discuss how current issues in sustainability can impact consumption patterns.
  • Explore economic, design, and sociological systems that seek to address the impact of consumption on sustainability.
  • Analyze the link between socio-ecological problems and consumer behavior.
  • Evaluate different consumption strategies based on their relevance for sustainable development.
  • Conceptualize sustainable consumption/production paths and strategies for attaining such paths.

The text for the course is by a historian and focuses on the origin of “consumers”. We use this text to create a stage for our discussions.

deVries, J (2008). The Industrious Revolution: Consumer Behavior and the Household Economy, 1650 to the Present. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

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