Exploring economy, work and livelihoods in postgrowth societies

I’m a postdoctoral researcher conducting an ethnography on postgrowth economy, work and livelihoods. My study contributes to the growing transdisciplinary research project challenging economic growth as an imperative. Such research is not only abstract and conceptual, but focuses on empirical examples. Many political, practical, and ideological alternatives are ignored with the argument that they do not focus on economic growth.

My research promotes space for open discussions about taken-for-granted assumptions on increasing well-being based solely on economic growth. Many contemporary movements, such as social entrepreneurship or postgrowth/degrowth, may be downplayed as utopian while the practitioners and activists already (partially) lead their lives based on their own (differing) understandings. In the times of mounting ecological and social imbalances we cannot afford to push already practiced suggestions aside without allowing them to be explored.

My research asks

  • What kinds of livelihood practices manifest the aim for and life in postgrowth societies?
  • What kinds of livelihood practices are there in the transformation to postgrowth societies?
  • What kinds of tensions emerge from such practices?

The project is funded by Nessling Foundation and Kone Foundation. My research started in January 2017 and goes on until late 2022. I have an affiliation to the Department of Design in Aalto University and to NODUS research group.

This space documents my path during the project, but also functions as a platform to write about my own work as a self-employed researcher. Research outputs can be found at ResearchGate and Google Scholar.

I wish to engage in visual work, which is one important element in my postdoctoral research. The stream of  images about my research journey is available in my Instragram account.

Perspectives to postgrowth societies

[W]omen, or rather women’s work and lives, like the natural world, are externalised and exploited by the valued economy.

Mary Mellor (2006)

[T]he project of building a degrowth society can only start from fostering dealienation by reopening the possibility for workers control and economic democracy, from the workplace to society at large.

Stefania Barca (2017)

How do we become not merely opponents of capitalism, but subjects who can desire and create ‘non-capitalism’?

J.K. Gibson-Graham (1996/2006)