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Social metabolism and the degrowth society


Similarly to living organisms, our socio-economic system is dependent on continuous throughput of materials and energy for its reproduction and maintenance. Our societal organism’s dependency on biophysical flows has been researched in different cultural contexts and historical analysis, using the concept and frameworks of “social metabolism”. In this panel, different potential scenarios for degrowth of our society's metabolism will be provide, together with a critical reflection on the meaning of degrowth, from the lenses of social metabolism. How should we understand living organisms development, accumulation, reproduction, deterioration and death in the analysis of our society and our proposals for degrowth? What means death of a society and what role plays technology in late-industrial societies in the prolongation of deteriorated systems? How do other cultures and cosmologies deal with the issues of reproduction and death? How useful and relevant are social metabolism frameworks useful in identifying patterns of collapse and transformation in society? Can the concept of social metabolism support actors of degrowth in their visions, decision-making and (collective) actions?

Anke Schaffartzik: Scenarios for a biophysical degrowth of industrial metabolism

Katharine Farrell: Living Systems and (de)Growth: a matter of life and death


Format: Scientific lecture Explanation
Track: Science / Wissenschaft
Threads: Social-ecological economy
Language: English
Available languages: English



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