Post-Growth Work: Employment and Meaningful Activities within Planetary Boundaries
by Seidl, Irmi; Zahrnt, Angelika (2021)
This book argues that society must rethink the notion of formal employment and instead introduce and spread the notion of "meaningful work" so that societies can become independent of economic growth. The excessive consumption of natural resources and the immense emissions resulting from our growth-oriented economic system surpass the planetary boundaries. Despite this, society and the economy still strive for economic growth in order to generate jobs, to finance the social security system and to assure tax income. However, these expectations are increasingly unrealistic, not least because technological developments such as digitalisation and robotisation will change and limit formal employment opportunities as well. Against this backdrop, the book introduces the notion of meaningful activities that embrace various kinds of work, paid and unpaid, sequential or in parallel, which are meaningful for the worker as well as society as a whole. At the same time, the authors argue in favour of reduced working time in formal employment. Furthermore, the book also describes the necessary transformations in companies and for consumers, for social and tax systems, for social services and agriculture. Innovative and timely, this book will be a key resource for professionals and scholars interested in sustainability, economics, work, transformation and post-growth studies.
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