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Open AccessArticle

Incomegetting and Environmental Degradation

Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
ROOTS Cluster of Excellence, Kiel University, Leibnizstrasse 3, 24118 Kiel, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4007;
Received: 3 April 2020 / Revised: 11 May 2020 / Accepted: 12 May 2020 / Published: 14 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Socio-Ecological Systems Sustainability)
Drawing on Alfred Schütz’s thought, as well as on a number of modern pragmatists and practice theorists, we theorize incomegetting—referring to practices of getting income, typically salaried work—as the paramount structurer of everyday life and, therefore, also the chief mediator of the human–nature metabolism. Even though the pragmatics of everyday life as an aggregate underlie the bulk of environmental impacts, these insidious impacts impose little immediate influence on everyday life, in particular in the urban Global North. In other words, the pragmatic dimension of everyday activities—principally, work—that takes place within a vastly complex and globally interlinked productive world system, has most often no immediate connection to the “natural” environment. While parts of the populations are directly dependent in terms of livelihoods on the “natural” environment, these populations are typically pushed to the margins of the global productive system. The understanding formulated in this essay suggests that in environmental social sciences there is a reason to shift the epicenter of the analysis from consumption to everyday life, to the varied practices of incomegetting. Against the backdrop of this paper, universal basic income schemes ought to have radical impacts on the way we relate also to the “natural” environment and such schemes necessitate understanding the essence of money in our contemporary realities. View Full-Text
Keywords: incomegetting; work; life-world; environmental change; relevance; cumulative socio-material change; universal basic income; money incomegetting; work; life-world; environmental change; relevance; cumulative socio-material change; universal basic income; money
MDPI and ACS Style

Ollinaho, O.I.; Arponen, V.P.J. Incomegetting and Environmental Degradation. Sustainability 2020, 12, 4007.

AMA Style

Ollinaho OI, Arponen VPJ. Incomegetting and Environmental Degradation. Sustainability. 2020; 12(10):4007.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ollinaho, Ossi I.; Arponen, V. P.J. 2020. "Incomegetting and Environmental Degradation" Sustainability 12, no. 10: 4007.

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