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Burkhard Bierhoff

Abstract

This article reveals the basic ideas of Erich Fromm’s analytical social psychology and shows links among work, character and education. Social changes may be better understood in the background of work evolution. Today the concept of waged work has been extended to unpaid activities. At the same time, the working life has been changed from a stable model to a flexible one. The work, its standards and social distribution, are also different now. Erich Fromm’s concept of ‘social character’ clarifies the changes and explains the consequences of the social changes. The relations to work are also different. During these changes - unemployment included - concepts of the unconditional basic income were studied. These concepts explain why it’s possible for people without waged work to participate in community life and consumption, without being excluded. The author presents the basic social changes that affected many different subpopulation and age groups.

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Burkhard Bierhoff and Hans-Peter Michels

Open access

Burkhard Bierhoff

Abstract

This paper presents some dimensions of the lifestyle discourse which have become relevant in recent years in science and public. The discourse that had initially focused on the limits of growth increasingly showed the destructive consequences of the materialistic consumer way of life and discussed sustainable lifestyles. The commodification and infantilization of the consumers who are involved in the commodity structure of consumerist lifestyle have been criticized. For some time an increasing emphasis is found for problems that extend beyond one's own life. With increasing empathy the personal lifestyle is widely based on relationships and contexts outside the immediate sphere of life. Accordingly, a lifestyle of voluntary simplicity is propagated. The consistent postmaterialistic orientation, which means a renunciation of the consumer capitalism, is regarded as its central feature.

Open access

Burkhard Bierhoff and Hans-Peter Michels