Discourses for deep transformation: perceptions of economic growth in two rural communities in Lower Saxony, Germany

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review

Standard

Discourses for deep transformation : perceptions of economic growth in two rural communities in Lower Saxony, Germany. / Lübker, Hannah Marlen; Abson, David J.; Riechers, Maraja.

In: Sustainability Science, Vol. 16, No. 6, 11.2021, p. 1827-1840.

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review

Harvard

APA

Vancouver

Bibtex

@article{31da60f2927a4067ada14ba6ccbb4c15,
title = "Discourses for deep transformation: perceptions of economic growth in two rural communities in Lower Saxony, Germany",
abstract = "Ecological degradation stemming from the paradigmatic pursuit of economic growth is well known. Transforming the current dominant economic discourse will be a great challenge of our time and one that can foster a transformation to a more sustainable state. Little research exists concerning perceptions of growth by individuals in rural areas. In this empirical study, we analysed 33 interviews from two rural communities in Northwest Germany through qualitative content analysis. Our results highlight four archetypical perceptions of economic growth: (1) growth as inherently positive, (2) growth as being self-evident and without alternatives, (3) growth as a systemic constraint, and (4) growth as critical and with negative consequences. Differing perceptions about five key themes within broader societal discourses shape the four archetypical perceptions. All four archetypes are characterized by a common perception of systemic constraints, a lack of concrete alternatives to the current economic system and a lack of individual and societal agency, showing a system that is locked into its current trajectory. The understanding of the consequences of growth, stemming from the knowledge of rural inhabitants, can lay the groundwork for future research on discourses of growth. We envision a strengthening of tangible alternatives to the dominant economic growth paradigm within and with the local communities as necessary for a sustainability transformation.",
keywords = "Agricultural intensification, Degrowth, Landscape, Leverage points, Social imaginaries, Social-ecological systems, Sustainability science, Ecosystems Research, Sustainability sciences, Management & Economics",
author = "L{\"u}bker, {Hannah Marlen} and Abson, {David J.} and Maraja Riechers",
year = "2021",
month = nov,
doi = "10.1007/s11625-021-01039-1",
language = "English",
volume = "16",
pages = "1827--1840",
journal = "Sustainability Science",
issn = "1862-4065",
publisher = "Springer Japan",
number = "6",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Discourses for deep transformation

T2 - perceptions of economic growth in two rural communities in Lower Saxony, Germany

AU - Lübker, Hannah Marlen

AU - Abson, David J.

AU - Riechers, Maraja

PY - 2021/11

Y1 - 2021/11

N2 - Ecological degradation stemming from the paradigmatic pursuit of economic growth is well known. Transforming the current dominant economic discourse will be a great challenge of our time and one that can foster a transformation to a more sustainable state. Little research exists concerning perceptions of growth by individuals in rural areas. In this empirical study, we analysed 33 interviews from two rural communities in Northwest Germany through qualitative content analysis. Our results highlight four archetypical perceptions of economic growth: (1) growth as inherently positive, (2) growth as being self-evident and without alternatives, (3) growth as a systemic constraint, and (4) growth as critical and with negative consequences. Differing perceptions about five key themes within broader societal discourses shape the four archetypical perceptions. All four archetypes are characterized by a common perception of systemic constraints, a lack of concrete alternatives to the current economic system and a lack of individual and societal agency, showing a system that is locked into its current trajectory. The understanding of the consequences of growth, stemming from the knowledge of rural inhabitants, can lay the groundwork for future research on discourses of growth. We envision a strengthening of tangible alternatives to the dominant economic growth paradigm within and with the local communities as necessary for a sustainability transformation.

AB - Ecological degradation stemming from the paradigmatic pursuit of economic growth is well known. Transforming the current dominant economic discourse will be a great challenge of our time and one that can foster a transformation to a more sustainable state. Little research exists concerning perceptions of growth by individuals in rural areas. In this empirical study, we analysed 33 interviews from two rural communities in Northwest Germany through qualitative content analysis. Our results highlight four archetypical perceptions of economic growth: (1) growth as inherently positive, (2) growth as being self-evident and without alternatives, (3) growth as a systemic constraint, and (4) growth as critical and with negative consequences. Differing perceptions about five key themes within broader societal discourses shape the four archetypical perceptions. All four archetypes are characterized by a common perception of systemic constraints, a lack of concrete alternatives to the current economic system and a lack of individual and societal agency, showing a system that is locked into its current trajectory. The understanding of the consequences of growth, stemming from the knowledge of rural inhabitants, can lay the groundwork for future research on discourses of growth. We envision a strengthening of tangible alternatives to the dominant economic growth paradigm within and with the local communities as necessary for a sustainability transformation.

KW - Agricultural intensification

KW - Degrowth

KW - Landscape

KW - Leverage points

KW - Social imaginaries

KW - Social-ecological systems

KW - Sustainability science

KW - Ecosystems Research

KW - Sustainability sciences, Management & Economics

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85116468659&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s11625-021-01039-1

DO - 10.1007/s11625-021-01039-1

M3 - Journal articles

AN - SCOPUS:85116468659

VL - 16

SP - 1827

EP - 1840

JO - Sustainability Science

JF - Sustainability Science

SN - 1862-4065

IS - 6

ER -