From worktime reduction to a post-work future: Implications for sustainable consumption governance

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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Abstract

Chapter 12, ‘From worktime reduction to a post-work future: Implications for sustainable consumption governance’ by Maurie J. Cohen addresses post-ownership sustainable consumption governance and the onset of post-consumerism. The chapter starts with an excursion into history, looking at the developments in consumption and expansion of wage-based employment that created a middle-class lifestyle, which is now waning for many reasons. The livelihoods of less affluent households have become precarious because of irregular participation in waged employment and rising economic insecurity. Households are struggling to reproduce familiar consumerist routines and are instigating social experiments in order to trial alternative provisioning arrangements. The demise of mass consumer lifestyles and the emergence of post-consumerism have significant and challenging implications for sustainable consumption governance. The equity dimensions of sustainable consumption take on equal importance with the biophysical impacts of resource use. This process of change also highlights the need for policies to nurture and support the cultivation of small-scale experiments and to aid social learning that helps diversity provisioning opportunities. It facilitates novel business models, promotes relationships based on solidarity through cooperativism, and enables community-based modes of self-help and the rediscovery of communal forms of prosumption. Also required is the political resolve to restrain patterns of outsized acquisition, while creating a system of public finance capable of investing in new institutional infrastructures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA Research Agenda for Sustainable Consumption Governance
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Pages185-200
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781788117814
ISBN (Print)9781788117807
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Social Sciences

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