Contributors: Sommer, Bernd (University of Flensburg)
Bernd Sommer ist wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am Interdisziplinären Institut für Umwelt-, Sozial- und Humanwissenschaften und Leiter des Bereichs „Klima, Kultur und Nachhaltigkeit“ am Norbert Elias Center for Transformationdesign & Research der Universität Flensburg.
Scientific paper contribution: No good life in a bad life? – Experiences of degrowth-orientated actors in a growth economy
The paper is authored by Jasmin Wiefek and co-authored by Bernd Sommer
Abstract: In Minima Moralia, Theodo Adorno formulated his famous dictum “Es gibt kein richtiges Leben im falschen”. Adorno highlighted the difficulty of finding a way to pursue a good life for oneself, in a world that is characterised by inequality, exploitation and domination. So far, this question has been predominantly dealt with theoretically. By applying it to the current degrowth movement, we seek to deal with this question empirically. In recent years, a growing number of initiatives have developed patterns of production beyond the growth paradigm. However these actors remain in a broader economic context, which is characterised by competitive markets. In our paper, we identify some of the obstacles that such degrowth-oriented actors encounter as well as their attempts to deal with them. Our empirical basis are 13 semi-structured interviews with actors that try to emancipate with their business activities from the growth principle as well as case stories of the database of the foundation FUTURZWEI, which publishes stories of initiatives that are experimenting with more sustainable modes of production.