Against growth. For what? A critical study of the story of a society without growth

Simone Klint Johannesen

Student thesis: Master thesis


In the perspective of climate changes and rising social problems, the economicgrowth has been criticised for not being a sustainable economic model. Economicgrowth is a dominant paradigm in the global society and most of the structures weknow are based on this notion of growth. This thesis is a post structural study of thecommunication of those whom are arguing to replace this notion of growth andinstead replace it with degrowth. The background of the thesis is a curiosity of howthose who are arguing for degrowth are talking about, how a degrowth society willlook like and what new structures it will create and sustain. Applying framingtheory to examine how the used conceptual framework helps create a picture of anew degrowth society and makes is possible study what choice of actions the framesare creating. To analyse how the frames are producing management, MichelFoucaults analytical concept of power, knowledge and subject in discourse is used.The informal movement of degrowth is framing it as a new way to organize localconsumerism communities, where people are more or less self-sufficient andutilizing sharing economy to downsize their own consumption of material goods.The description of how people live in such communites is framing a possible way tolive, and this framing should be managing people to choose a more sustainablelifestyle. The position that is described is radical, which according to Foucault is nota productive way to announce chance, but instead to raise questions of the currentconditions and challenges, which is done in the framing of criticism of growth. Thethesis concludes that in the discourse that are pro degrowth, degrowth is framed asa specific way of living, for at specific group of people with specific abilities andbeliefs. Thereby the picture of a degrowth society as local excluding communitieswhich doesn’t take the whole system into perspective, but contributes to therethinking of how people have a role as the consumer is created.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages82
SupervisorsSteen Vallentin