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The treadmill of Production

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OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

Treadmill of Production

The term was coined by US sociologist Allan Schnaiberg. One of his interests of study is environmental sociology and his concept of 'treadmill of production' (ToP) arose from this. What it is is a theoretical model. It is an ambitious effort for some because in it, he tried to explain the expansion of environmental issues and problems in the modern times. Prof. Richard York of the University of Oregon (2006) explains:

"According to the ToP model, advances in technology, primarily induced by owners of the means of production seeking to increase profits, drive the expansion of production and consumption synergistically. This process leads to a cycle of production necessitating more production, because all sectors of society (the state, organized labor, and private capital) depend on continued economic growth to solve problems, such as unemployment generated by mechanization, which are created by growth itself. ToP theorists argue that environmental problems cannot be solved in such a system, since growth puts ever-increasing demands on the environment by ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides insight, information and guidance on the concept of 'treadmill of production' by sociologist Allan Schnaiberg. The discussion also provides examples. References are listed for further exploration of the topic. A word version is also attached.