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Scientific paper


Degrowth, youth and utopia: understanding the roots of distress in order to take ownership of our future

Jean-Louis Aillon, Elena Dal Santo

Entry type:
Scientific paper

Year of publication:

Degrowth Conference Leipzig 2014


youth, utopia, degrowth, future, distress, nihilism

Abstract: Degrowth thinkers have mostly focused on the analysis of the adults’ reality while the world of youth, although retaining some similarities, requires a different approach. Teenagers find themselves alone in dealing with the meaning of life surrounded by a decadent world, in a scenario in which the future of the "promised land" has become a threat. Uprooted from their past but with no ability to project themselves in any future, left without guidance, it is almost impossible for youngsters to find their own way, thus ending up groping in the dark of an eternal present, easy prey for the market and its mirages. An analysis of the psycho, social and cultural discomfort of the young generations will be conducted, scrutinizing this world through the lens of the degrowth theory, looking for alternative horizons, where the concept of utopia can resume its critical role in driving human cultural evolution.

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