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En lycklig omställning av Sverige
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
2012 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This paper aims to examine how and to what extent, a transition of Sweden according to the principles of Omställning Sverige (Transition towns Sweden), have the potential to contribute to a society with increased happiness.

The paper is based on a qualitative textual analysis of the key texts in the Swedish Transition towns movement, Omställning Sverige. In the first part of the study the most important transition principles of Omställning Sverige were identified. Four key principles emerged: An altered view of economics, a spiritual change, a stronger local community and increased awareness. These transition principles were then analyzed through the lens of the scientific fields position on happiness, followed by a summarizing conclusion.

The altered view of economics which Omställning Sverige advocates, where sustainability and quality of life are priorities over economic growth, is even necessary to secure our basic physiological needs. Such an economy has also improved conditions for economic stability, high employment and higher efficiency in the sense of happiness promoted in relationship to how many natural resources are used. The form of spiritual change that is highlighted represents a shift from a materialistic consumer culture towards a greater focus on altruism, fellowship and a stronger relationship with nature. Also this principle has the potential to promote human well-being because we feel good through empathetic behavior, strong social relationships, identifying with a larger natural world and because a consumer culture contributes to severe mental and social stress in the struggle for social status. Here, however, a deficiency in the Transition towns movement's message emerges. Omställning Sverige lacks a clear commitment to equality within society, which reduces the probability for the advocated mental shift to occur. The third transition principle, a stronger local community, also has the potential to make us happier because it promotes social cohesion and provides a secure foundation in life. However, there is no clear correlation between increased awareness of societal threats and happiness. Along with the increased awareness Omställning Sverige also advocates for a positive vision of the future, active citizenship and a belief in change. Such an approach has the potential to promote our happiness slightly. A positive vision for the future is also the best approach to promote active engagement to counter societal threats. In all the four aspects from which Omställning Sverige were analyzed, the advocated change has the potential to provide a happier society than if current policies were maintained. The main conclusion is therefore that an implementation of the Swedish Transition town movement's principles to a very high extent have the potential to contribute to a happier society. A recomendation to increase the emphasis on equality within the society is at the same time sent out to the transition towns  movement.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 55 p.
Keyword [en]
Sustainable development, Transition towns, Happiness, Economic growth, Consumption culture
Keyword [sv]
Hållbar utveckling, lycka, Omställning Sverige, Transition towns, ekonomisk tillväxt, konsumtionskultur lokalsamhället, medvetenhet
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-168724OAI: diva2:503290
Educational program
Master Programme in Sustainable Development
Life Earth Science
Available from: 2012-03-22 Created: 2012-02-15 Last updated: 2012-07-09Bibliographically approved

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