Social limits to growth

Social limits to growth – Filka Sekulova (ICTA-UAB) and Agata Hummel (UAM, Poznan)

Wednesday 6th July, 12.00-13-30, UAB Campus

This lecture embraces various streams of degrowth coming from anthropology, cultural studies, sociology and psychology. We will start out with an exposition of the critics to utilitarianism, drawing on the works of Mauss, Caile, and Latouche. Next the process and particularities of ‘making’ and ‘unmaking’ development as rooted in the writings of Escobar and Gudynas will be discussed, while paying particular attention to cases from Latin America. In addition, the reflexive role of anthropology related to the critical self-awareness which can either lead to reformulation or empowerment of individuals and initiatives will be strongly featured in this class.

The session will also indulge with the psychological and emotional limits to growth, building upon happiness studies and research on social comparison and conspicuous consumption (Hirsch, Easterlin). 

We will furthermore discuss the important role played by vulnerability as an inherent condition for fruitful human relations and fulfilling lives.


Background reading material: Demaria, F., Schneider, F., Sekulova, F., MartinezAlier,J. 2013. ‘What is degrowth? From an activist slogan to a social movement’. Environmental Values 22: 191-215.