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Environmental Values

The Naturalisation of Growth: Marx, the Regulation Approach and Bourdieu

Max Koch

Environmental Values 27 (2018): 9-27. doi: 10.3197/096327118X15144698637504

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This paper analyses the hegemony of the growth paradigm through the example of its naturalisation in capitalist production and consumption relations. Applying a combination of theoretical elements from the Marxian tradition, the Regulation approach and Bourdieusian sociology, emphasis is placed on how the growth imperative is reflected in people's minds and bodies. It becomes hegemonic because it appears to be the natural way of steering economy and society. As a result, all people - including working people - benefit from the continuation of growth. To overcome the growth paradigm, activists would need to build on a crisis of the 'objective' structures of economy and society.


Growth paradigm, degrowth, postgrowth, naturalisation, capitalism, Marx, Bourdieu, regulation approach

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Degrowth, Democracy and Autonomy. Viviana Asara, Emanuele Profumi and Giorgos Kallis

How to Get Out of the Multiple Crisis? Contours of a Critical Theory of Social-Ecological Transformation. Ulrich Brand

Liberalism and Economic Growth: A Theoretical Exploration. Peter Ferguson

Governing Household Waste Management: An Empirical Analysis and Critique. Scott Cameron Lougheed, Myra J. Hird and Kerry R. Rowe

Editorial: Social Ecological Transformation and the Individual. Clive L. Spash

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: Assimilation, Blind Spots and Coproduced Crises. Claudia Carter

The Paradox of Sustainable Degrowth and a Convivial Alternative. Oscar Krüger

The Spiralling Economy: Connecting Marxian Theory with Ecological Economics. Crelis Rammelt

The Norwegian Petroleum Fund: Savings for Future Generations? Marianne Takle

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