Browsing by Subject "ylikulutus"

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  • Ollila, Tuure (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Consumption in growth-based economic system from the sufficiency perspective: Qualitive and data-driven content analysis of SKS’s Kestävä kehitys -writing competition texts The master’s thesis examines overconsumption in a growth-based economic system from the perspective of sufficiency, and in particular the questions: what is overconsumption, what factors support overconsumption in Finnish society, and how could consumption be sufficient so that it does not “exceed”? The data of this study is created as a result of the Finnish Literature Society’s (SKS) archive’s Kestävä kehitys -writing competition (2018) “Pieniä ponnistuksia, Suuria saavutuksia”, which is part of the archive materials collections on Traditional and Contemporary Culture (SKS KRA). The research method is data-driven content analysis. The themes highlighted in the data are the problematic nature of the growth-based economic system, consumer criticism, the individual's ability and inability to influence change, the factors influencing overconsumption and the sufficiency of consumption. The thesis describes the opinion of respondents of different ages and from different localities about the prevailing consumer culture, what it should be like, how ready they are personally for change, and what changes are needed at the individual and structural level. The theoretical framework of the thesis is based on the critique of the growth-based economic system and the literature on the sufficient economy and the sufficiency of consumption. Overconsumption can be defined as consumption that leads to uncontrolled climate change, biodiversity loss and overexploitation of natural resources. In Finland, overconsumption is built on the demands of a growth-based market economy, where only continuous economic growth secures employment and well-being. This claim is associated with a consumer culture that supports overconsumption. The more materially wealthy the culture and, through it, the wealthier the citizens, the greater is the consumption. Cultural change is required to make consumption more sufficient. The results of the thesis emphasized the importance of changing attitudes, eco-efficiency in everyday choices and behavior, and limiting the marketing of consumer credit. Political decision-makers were called upon to dare to change consumption in a more sustainable direction through means of control. In order for consumption to be sufficient, well-being shouldn’t be based solely on economic growth, wealth, and a material lifestyle. Increasing efficiency through technology in order to reduce emissions is also not enough if consumption continues to grow and thus the use of natural resources. In a society where the economic system, an over-consuming consumer culture, a market economy, the media and the activities of businesses and consumers are all interlinked, cooperation between researchers, businesses, politicians and NGOs plays a key role in bringing about cultural change.