Economics, Politics and Settlement
Edited by Mats Benner
Chapter 10: The metaphor challenge of future economics: growth and sustainable development in Swedish media discourse
Right from the beginning of the current financial crisis voices were heard declaring the death of growth capitalism – a capitalism incorporating a thought of continuous growth that can be discussed as ‘the master narrative’ (Friman 2002) of a modern society. The ongoing climate crisis and the food crisis contributed to an intensification of the critique of the thought of constant or long-term economic growth as the motor of society and as an underlying axiom for societal development. As a response to the challenges caused by economic growth and financial crisis, climate crisis and the inequality of the distribution of food, health and development in a global perspective, the concept of ‘sustainable development’ was introduced. It envisions a world where economics, ecology, social justice and equality live together in harmony. This means that the discussion of sustainability and more specifically sustainable development is future-oriented and tries to bring together and negotiate between world views and discourses that sometimes collide; the discussion of future economics is a melting pot of ideas as well as of discourses expressing these ideas. It is therefore interesting and fruitful to study the discourse of growth and sustainability in the media during the latest financial crisis (2008 onwards) – especially in financial journalism and in political debate. These are genres that have a wide distribution, reaching many readers, and therefore can be said to reflect and affect views circulating in society.
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