Violaine Wathelet / PhD student in sociology

Sociology / Social Sciences, Social Economy / member of the expert committee of the Financité-Fairfin label

The translation of this testimony was generated automatically by a translation program. Thanks for your understanding.

My research work focuses on the conditions enabling the institutionalisation of social economy. How then does a paradigm of thinking claiming to distance itself from capitalism take root in our laws and lifestyles? This leads me to study this much-touted capitalism. But what does this have to do with climate, you may ask? Because its fundamental logic are the causes of climate change. Bearing this in mind, as well as precariousness, inequalities and social “disaffiliation”, the climate issue is not a negative spillover that needs to be addressed, it is integral to the way we produce, consume and see the world. Change may happen only by combining the two sides of the same coin: our individual behaviours and collective actions (political and from the political world), both institutional and drastic.
As for my little drops of contributions, they are neither very original nor very radical: I ride my bicycle, educate my children in a spirit of mutual respect and respect for the earth, dress as much as possible with second-hand clothes, feed myself with products from a cooperative supermarket with a social purpose, use reusable diapers, try to raise awareness of the systemic causes of climate change, take the train as much as possible to attend international conferences, participate to climate marches….
The most complicated aspect of these choices, besides the financial one (sometimes but not always), is undoubtedly the fact that the ethical, sustainable offer, etc. is still extremely rare. We rapidly find ourselves in “cognitive dissonance” if we just want to enjoy a cup of coffee. It is therefore essential to raise awareness (in any education) of the fact that we can do business in a different way, to support the social economy (at the individual and political level), to punish the big polluters, to collectively redefine the aims of production and the distribution of power… When the idea is put forward that the current system needs to be revamped, critics quickly denounce the utopian or incomplete nature of certain proposals. I do believe that we must dare to think “outside the box” and give up this technocratic ideal of the total turnkey-style solution. A total solution which, as it so happens, frankly seems impossible to conceive in its entirety. In which form of democracy would we be if tomorrow someone came up with a model of society thought through from A to Z?

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