Culture: The Missing Aspect of the Sustainability Paradigm

By Lorin E. Witta, Sharon A. Flanagan and Lynn P. Hagan.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In the globalized world of environmental awareness, many people rely on the sustainability paradigm to inform their forward actions. However, the current sustainability paradigm, which most often consists of environmental, social, and economic pillars, is incomplete. Psychologically, people rely on their culture, which determines how land and sustainability are thought of and determines the individual’s link with their landscape (Wilson, 1998). Therefore, the culture of where a person was raised, lives, and/or resides, determines not only how they interact with their society, but it determines their approach to sustainable development and informs the meaning and value of local landscape, flora, and fauna. Culture is an integral missing link in the sustainability paradigm (Witta, 2011). Scotland and Louisiana have very strong cultures, which impact their management techniques and determine their sustainability motivations and actions. These two locations represent perfect examples of how culture enhances the current sustainability paradigm. A case study in Scotland provides an interesting interaction between culture and management relating to the nationally iconic red deer. A case for Louisiana, and how its culture could enhance sustainable development within the region, will also be discussed.

Keywords: Environment, Sustainability, Social, Economic, Culture, Sustainable Development, Landscape, Environmental Management, Scotland, Louisiana, Red Deer (Cervus elaphus)

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 6, Issue 9, pp.37-48. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 804.688KB).

Lorin E. Witta

PhD Candidate, School of Geography and Geosciences, University of St. Andrews, Elgin, UK

Lorin Witta’s interests include: animal behaviour, animal learning and cognition, human and animal interactions, human-landscape interactions, effects of animals and landscape on development, and good husbandry/stewardship of environment.

Dr. Sharon A. Flanagan

River Parishes Community College, Baton Rouge, USA

Dr. Flanagan is Dean of Technical Education and Workforce Development at River Parishes Community College in Sorrento, Louisiana.

Dr. Lynn P. Hagan

Faculty, College of Social Sciences, University of Phoenix, Bellaire, USA

Dr. Hagan is faculty in the College of Social Science at University of Phoenix and a clinical social worker. She has been involved in environmental science for over 20 years, holding positions at the Scientific Center of Kuwait, Louisiana Nature Center, Audubon Zoo, and the Houston Zoo. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology, a Master’s in Recreation and Social Work, and a Doctor of Psychology.


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