Version 3.2_September 2016
Individual Paper: Wellbeing-restoring strategies in situations of coercive consumption reduction:
Implications for degrowth efforts
The concept of degrowth has serious implications on consumption. The challenge lies in the most probable necessity of consumption reduction which is still an unpopular idea today. Situations of coercive consumption reduction indicate various individual reactions and severe impacts on subjective wellbeing. Our previous research aimed to analyse how individuals create resilient adaptation strategies in order to keep or even enhance the current level of their subjective wellbeing, when facing the challenge of coercive consumption reduction. The authors used the qualitative methodology of causal loop diagrams, a modified form of participatory system mapping (PSM) to map the consequences of the 2008’ economic crisis on consumption patterns and subjective wellbeing. Focus group participants have been asked to map the direct effects of the economic crisis on their family or themselves, as well as to map their adaptive changes in their consumption patterns on those effects. Then we identified adaptive consumption strategies which aimed to restore the formal level of participants’ subjective wellbeing. The explored adaptation strategies serve as input to our present research. The authors will use the Q-methodology, which is appropriate to illustrate and categorise individuals’ preferences regarding the different kinds of adaptation strategies, as reaction to constrained consumption. Sourcing adaptation preferences and categorising individuals according to their adaptation behaviour helps design effective degrowth policies in order to create socially acceptable, wellbeing-restoring or even enhancing, resilient transition to a more sustainable world.
Start time: 11:30
Track: Degrowth and other social movements