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Browsing by Subject "relationality"

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  • Finnilä, Jessica (2022)
    Due to the ecological sustainability crisis threatening human and nonhuman life, a radical and rapid transformation of ecologically unsustainable societies, including the Finnish society, is needed. Under present circumstances, continuous growth of the Finnish economy is unlikely to be compatible with safe planetary boundaries. Despite this, Finnish governmental institutions still maintain a growth policy, postulating that economic growth is fundamental for Finnish well-being. Growth- centric conceptualisations of well-being are particularly prominent in work-related contexts which impacts how well-being is defined and operationalised in working life. In particular, Finnish working life institutions tend to overemphasise economic aspects of well-being while overlooking vital ecological dimensions of well-being. Consequently, it is important to promote alternative, ecologically sustainable visions of well-being and situate them in Finnish working life. Hence, it may be possible to support an ecological transformation of institutions and ideologies governing work in the Finnish society. This thesis draws on research on sustainable well-being and needs to advance an understanding of well- being as ecologically embedded, exploring underacknowledged intersections of work, well-being and nature. The empirical results illustrate ways in which ecological dimensions of well-being are experienced by workers as they navigate Finnish working life conditions in a time of ecological sustainability crisis. A variety of obstacles as well as possibilities for ecologically sustainable well-being are identified, spanning work practices, work purposes and the search for work. The findings are analysed with reference to conflicting paradigms: the human exemptionalism paradigm, which sees humans as separate from nature, and the relational paradigm, which sees humans as interconnected with nature and well-being as relational. In particular, relational well-being is conceptualised as consisting of needs in the dimensions of Having, Doing, Loving and Being. The findings show how ecological (un)sustainability affects the fulfillment of needs in working life and beyond, thereby challenging predominant ideas of “well-being through work”. Importantly, the findings indicate clear shifts in emphasis from material dimensions of well-being (Having) to well-being in the dimensions of Doing, Loving and Being. The thesis concludes that ecologically sustainable well-being, conceptualised in terms of ecologically embedded needs, ought to replace the purpose of economic growth in Finnish working life and society at large.