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Scientific paper


“This is a bit of the good life”: Recognition of unpaid work from the perspective of degrowth

Linda Nierling

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Scientific paper

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Ecological Economics


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Keywords: Degrowth; Unpaid work; Recognition; Sustainability; End of work; Qualitative case study research

Abstract: The decommodification of work activity is central for conceiving work from a degrowth perspective. Yet personal dependence on paid work is very high, whereas unpaid work activity, such as providing care, community service and subsistence, continues to be neglected by individuals and society. By using the analytical approach related to recognition as employed by Axel Honneth, I argue on the basis of empirical findings that unpaid work can play a significant role in one's personal well-being at the individual level. With regard to the transition process towards a society of degrowth, however, a key seems to be a change in the normative paradigm concerning work at the individual level.

Ecological Economics, Volume 84, December 2012, Pages 240–246, The Economics of Degrowth

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