Societal Understandings 34 results

At the heart of any form of prosperity lie the desires, aspirations, needs and capabilities of ordinary people. Understanding these needs and aspirations is vital for sustainable prosperity. Our research on the social and psychological understandings of the good life explores the contested and situated nature of people’s visions of the good life and explores the role of materialism in delivering (and hindering) a sense of prosperity.

Meritocracy vs. Social Cohesion: A Review of The Acting Class (UK, 2017)—By Anthony Killick

The latest documentary from D O’Neill and M Wayne highlights the barriers faced by working class actors attempting to pursue cultural work. The film exposes the fraudulence behind some of the central tenets of neoliberal meritocracy, Anthony Killick finds, particularly the idea that arts and cultural jobs are equally accessible to all on a “level playing field”.

Sustainable Consumption in Early Motherhood | Journal Paper by Kate Burningham and Sue Venn

In their new paper for the Journal of Consumer Ethics, Kate Burningham and Sue Venn suggest there is a need for greater attention to the gender and relational dimensions of environmentally sustainable practice, and for promotion of holistic discourses of sustainable consumption which align sustainable living with the maintenance of family life.

Moments of Change—Opportunities for moving to more sustainable consumption? | Working Paper No 7

The idea that lifecourse transitions might offer ‘moments of change’ in which to encourage more sustainable consumption is popular, yet insights from the sociological literature on lifecourse transitions have rarely been brought to bear on this assumption. This paper focuses on two distinct lifecourse transitions - becoming a mother and retirement – and through qualitative longitudinal research evaluates the assumption that such periods provide opportunities for movement to more sustainable consumption.

Broken promises—the engine of consumerism | Blog by Tim Jackson

Does consumerism thrive on our discontentment? Tim Jackson argues yes, the success of consumer society lies not in meeting our needs but in its spectacular ability to repeatedly disappoint us. This may seem dark, but from here we can understand why consumerism must eventually fall – and how to replace it.

Social Limits to Growth—Implications for Sustainable Prosperity | APPG Evening Debate, 13 Nov 2017

This Autumn, CUSP and the APPG on Limits to Growth will be hosting a debate to mark the 40th Anniversary of Fred Hirsch’s ‘The Social Limits to Growth’. Join us for this timely House of Commons discussion on Hirsch’s challenging analysis and its relevance today.

Local Action for Sustainable Prosperity | Seminar w Joan Walley, 19 Oct 2017

How, at a time of rising inequalities and austerity, can action for sustainable prosperity be galvanised at the local level? how do we create awareness amongst the public and their elected representatives of the environmental and social challenges facing us? Former MP of Stoke-on-Trent and chairwoman of the Aldersgate Group Joan Walley is sharing her insights.

Young Lives in Seven Cities—A scoping study for the CYCLES project | Working Paper No 6

How do young people see the world? What are their hopes and aspirations for the future? What does the ‘good life’ mean for them in an age of environmental and social limits? These are some of the questions that motivate the CYCLES project which we are launching with this report.

More Fun Less Stuff? Exploring Young People’s Everyday Consumption | A research log

The question of whether it is possible to live better by consuming less is a central one for CUSP. In order to answer this we need a rich understanding of the meanings that ‘stuff’ has in our lives. In this research log, Kate Burningham and colleagues offer insights into their analytical work in progress, summarising initial observations from a recent qualitative interview project with ten 18-22 year olds.

Call for Papers — Cultural Trends Special Issue: After the Creative Economy

CUSP researchers Kate Oakley and Jonathan Ward are guest editors of an upcoming edition of Cultural Trends. In exploring how the idea of the creative economy persists since the 1980s, papers are invited that engage with the topic on a social, political, economic and/or organisational level.

From Economic Growth to Growth in Wellbeing | Resurgence Festival w Tim Jackson, 23 Sept 2017

The Resurgence & Ecologist magazine, Britain’s flagship green magazine, is hosting its fifth Festival of Wellbeing on 23 Sept 2017. The event will raise money for The Resurgence Trust and features CUSP Director Tim Jackson in conversation with Satish Kumar.