Workshop discussion consumption and sustainability in soeb

The soeb workshop discussions are an event format with which the research network opens up to a professional public, for an exchange of its issues and concepts with selected experts from outside.

An initial two-day public workshop discussion took place under the heading "Consumption and Sustainability in Socioeconomic Reporting” on June 2 and 3, 2014 in Goettingen. With its focus on consumption in association with participation and sustainability, the workshop discussion represents an extension of the third report vis-à-vis the two preceding reporting phases. This is one of the reasons that this topic was chosen for the first workshop discussion.

For socioeconomic reporting, another concept of consumption seems functional, according to which consuming does not just mean purchasing, but generally also includes selecting, procuring, using or using up, disposing, and passing on of consumer goods (Blättel-Mink et al. 2013: 10). Only this makes it possible to focus on consumption-based participation, which on the one hand builds upon the assurance of basic physiological needs, and on the other, stretches to social aspects as well. However, not all elements of this rather broad consumption concept can be easily grasped, nor can they be easily assessed in terms of their relevance for social participation (Panel 1, see link above). Additionally, sustainability remains a multi-layered and controversially discussed term. This is why emphasis on the ecological aspect is especially suited for an orientation (panel 2). In terms of participation through consumption, the question arises whether there are class-specific consumption patterns, and second, to what extent these consumption patterns allow for social participation. In case of poverty, even the satisfaction of basic physiological needs may be jeopardized (panel 3). After all, sustainability and participation can be related to one another in order to reveal interactions and interdependencies. One can assume that oftentimes, sustainable consumption is supposed to demonstrate the membership to a certain group, and is therefore class-specific. As such, sustainable consumption can be viewed as a (new) dimension of participation (in solving social tasks) that may not be open to everyone. At the same time, it is to be assumed that poverty consumption sometimes saves the environment more than demonstrative sustainable consumption (panel 4).

Documents (German)
Programm PDF
Presentations (German)
Bartelheimer, Peter: Einführung: Konsum sozioökonomisch gesehen PDF