Chapter written in Downshifting: a theoretical and practical approach to living a simplified life, a book edited by Franco Gandolfi and Hélène Cherrier (2008, Ed. Icfai University Press).
Something puzzling yet profound is occurring in consumer-driven societies: an increasing number of individuals from all walks of life are pursuing lower consumption practices and embracing simpler lifestyles. They are ‘getting a life’ and ‘escaping the rat race’. This growing inclination toward simpler lifestyles or downshifting is part of a larger shift in societal values, attitudes, and the notion of what constitutes success and happiness. This distinctive book constitutes a collection of readings that examines and exposes the various approaches and practices of downshifting. Eleven theoretical and empirical chapters written by prolific writers and distinguished scholars from around the world offer theoretical and practical lenses on the downshifting phenomenon. This book on downshifting is an invaluable resource and instrument for researchers, consultants, executives, and social science students.