Towards Sustainability

Line Holst-Jensen

Student thesis: Master thesis


Purpose: Despite a long-time focus on climate, we are still facing a climate crisis which seems to worsen every year (World Meteorological Organization (WMO), 2020). This indicates that we need to reconsider how we approach the crisis. The purpose of this thesis is to propose theoretical reconstructions of societies' approach to the climate crisis, as I wish to contribute with new discussions and alternative ways of viewing and handling the crises. The theoretical reconstruction is done through Marxist theory.
Methodology: The thesis is divided into two analysis. The first analysis examines and discusses a selection of different initiatives made by society to accommodate the climate crisis. This is done from a communication perspective. I have chosen to use the theory of aspirational talk, which helps me categorise the different initiatives as either actual action or communication initiatives. From this perspective, I can better understand the distinctive feature of these initiatives. The second analysis is viewing the findings from the first analysis through a Marxist perspective. I have chosen to use Marx’s theory of surplus value to examine and reconstruct societies' handling of CO2. Furthermore, I have chosen to use Marx’s theory of alienation to examine and reconstruct the role of the individual in the climate crisis.
Conclusion: My conclusion is that aspirational talk plays an essential role in accommodating the climate crisis. This is because actual actions, such as restrictions can have major negative consequences on national states and the global economy. Instead, we need to gradually accommodate the crisis. It is estimated that aspirational talk can meet this need. I also conclude that by handling CO2 as a value with a related price increase on products, it will encourage the individual to buy more sustainable products or even buy less. Furthermore, I conclude that the individual by working with the climate crisis can accommodate aspects of its alienation and therefore strengthen its basis of existence.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and Organizational Communication, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages87