Abstract: The present work provides a theoretical analysis oriented to link the social capital to the concept of degrowth. Defined by Schneider et al., 2010 as “an equitable downscaling of production and consumption that increases human well-being and enhances ecological conditions at the local and global level in the short and in the long term”, the concept of degrowth leads to a radical criticism of the neoclassical approach of economic growth and propose an alternative socio-economic paradigm based on the concept of “reciprocity work”. Constituted by a mix of social work, unpaid activities, self-production and co-operation among individuals, “reciprocity work” is assumed to be able to increase the social capital by promoting conviviality, mutual sustain and social relationships. In recent years, academic, political and social debates have been oriented to investigate the concepts of degrowth and the related impacts on social capital and well-being. The objective this paper is twofold. On one side, it provides a theoretical analysis in an attempt of explaining the concept of degrowth, that of reciprocity work and the implications for the social capital formation. On the other side, it reviews the main studies that investigate the social capital generation in a context of degrowth.
Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, Volume 72, 5 February 2013, Pages 64–72