Kulutuskriittinen kohtuullisuus tarveteorioiden valossa
There are many views about sustainable consumption. The sufficiency strategy questions the current volume and ongoing growth of consumption. The sufficiency strategy and particularly reduction of consumption have been criticized for hindering the satisfaction of our needs and thus resulting in decreased well-being. In this article, we examine the sufficiency strategy in the light of need theories. First, two prominent need theories, Maslow’s need hierarchy and Max-Neef’s need matrix, are presented and discussed. According to these theories, human beings have a wide variety of physical, psychological and social needs, all of which cannot be satisfied with commercial goods. We also discuss briefly the criticism commonly expressed against Maslow’s need hierarchy. Second, we consider, from the perspective of sufficiency strategy, the implications of two analytical distinctions – the distinction between needs and wants as well as between needs and their satisfiers. We propose that a want relates to the satisfier of a need. Thus, when means and ends are confused also needs and wants become confused. It becomes clear that consumption is only one way to satisfy needs. We conclude that it is not inevitable that reducing consumption lowers well-being. When judging the environmental and well-being effects of reducing consumption one should also take into account what replaces consumption.