The Monetized Economy Versus Care and the Environment: Degrowth Perspectives On Reconciling an Antagonism

Corinna Dengler and Birte Strunk

This paper addresses the question of how the current growth paradigm perpetuates existing gender and environmental injustices and investigates whether these can be mitigated through a degrowth work-sharing proposal. It uses an adapted framework of the “ICE model” to illustrate how ecological processes and caring activities are structurally devalued by the monetized economy in a growth paradigm. On the one hand, this paradigm perpetuates gender injustices by reinforcing dualisms and devaluing care. On the other hand, environmental injustices are perpetuated since “green growth” does not succeed in dematerializing production processes. In its critique of the growth imperative, degrowth not only promotes the alleviation of environmental injustices but also calls for a recentering of society around care. This paper concludes that, if designed in a gender-sensitive way, a degrowth work-sharing proposal as part of a broader value transformation has the potential to address both gender and environmental injustices.

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