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Abstract: In discussions about the main growth drivers in our societies, two explanations often collide: a cultural account of growth dispositions and an economic account of capitalist growth imperatives. The planned contribution aims at bridging the gap between these accounts. Its central idea is that flexible global capitalism increasingly binds exploitation to the relative weakness and strength of integral social positions, forcing ever more people to translate structural constraints into cultural habitudes. On this basis, we want to map the cultural effects of diversified exploitation and virtually universalized positional competition. Specifically, we want to analyze a) which micro-mechanisms of growth depend on recent innovations of capitalism, b) how the promise and threat of exploitation (or exclusion) still can be revealed as a driving force, and c) which socio-economic risks keep people from choosing degrowth options which would be both more sustainable and more pleasant.
Keywords: Capitalism, exploitation, competition, culture

This media entry was a contribution to the special session “Degrowth and social inequality: Eating the rich or governing the poor?” at the 4th International Degrowth Conference in Leipzig in 2014.

There is no paper for this media entry. This was a contribution to a scientific session at the 4th International Degrowth Conference in Leipzig in 2014, which doesn’t exist in written format or is not published under open access.