Chapter 23: Making economics relevant: incorporating sustainability
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We are limited by what we are taught and this applies to the information we learn and the freedom we are given to question and critically assess the social construction that is our economic framework. Arguably the latter then provides a basis for change but it is likely dependent on the ability to observe society from a distance and assess its actions through a normative lens that incorporates morality, essentially adopting the impartial spectator stance referenced by Adam Smith. This chapter highlights how the teaching of economics can enable the tangibility of the discipline. Further, it establishes the opportunity for the economics discipline to foster sustainability and promote its adoption through addressing the role of conscious consumption and responsible participation in consumer, investor and government decision-making. The chapter’s topics include the role of culture in sustainability and the relationship between economic measurement (GDP) and cultural convergence, resource utilization and Climate Change.

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