Version 3.2

Anthropology and degrowth: deepening the dialogue

So far anthropologists have had very limited direct engagement with degrowth. This is a surprising fact since anthropology had a key role in the very crafting of the concept: the ideas of Serge Latouche were highly influenced by classical economic anthropologists such as Marcel Mauss, Marshall Sahlins and Karl Polanyi. Furthermore, the francophone anthropological school associated with the MAUSS group (“Antiutilitarian movement in the social sciences”) had an important influence on degrowth during its earliest theorization. Since then, very few authors have approached degrowth from an anthropological perspective and only a few anthropologists have used a degrowth framework in their ethnographic works.
This workshop will present the outcomes of the
workshop “Anthropology and degrowth: deepening the dialogue” (5th-6th June,
2023 at the London School of Economics), where anthropologists interested in
degrowth met officially for the first time to collaboratively discuss issues
such as: how can critiques and debates that have been central to anthropology
for decades –such as the studies of material culture and consumption, or the
multiple meanings of productiveness and abundance beyond GDP growth– illuminate
questions that appear in degrowth as new? On the other hand: what can degrowth
do for anthropology? How can a focus on the imperative of growth –not just as
an economic goal, but as a wider political, cultural, and cosmological concept–
help understand the ethnographic contexts anthropologists engage with? Can concepts
like ecomodernism, longtermism or growthism, for instance, make sense of the
moral worlds anthropologists find on the ground?


Day: 2023-08-31
Start time: 10:00
Duration: 00:15
Room: ZV-KC-Cres
Type: Paper Presentation
Theme: Alternative economies


Concurrent Sessions