The Social Dimention of Sustainability: Towards Some Definitions and Analysis
Aso Haji Rasouli, Dr. Anoma Kumarasuriyar

The lifestyle of industrialized countries and economic growth in the decades of the 1960s and 1970scaused a serious weakness in the balance between ecology, economic stability and natural security of planet(Blewitt, 2008). The concept of sustainability emerged in response to these weaknesses that resulted from poor resource management, and was universally accepted(McKenzie, 2004). The term, 'sustainable development' was defined in 1987 by The World Commission on Environment and Development as, known as the Brundtland definition, “development that meets the need of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”(WCED, 1987, p. 43).The concept of sustainable development has been interpreted in various ways with a wide range of meanings. Within the first decade of its emergence “sustainable development has been interpreted as an ecological vision”(Åhman, 2013). However, in recent decades it has become more of a multifocal agenda that strongly links environmental, social and economic notions, and reconciles the conflicts between them. In the first decade after the emergence of the notion of sustainable development in 1987, the concept of social sustainability had been neglected in comparison to environmental and economic aspects of sustainability. It was in the late 1990s that social sustainability was considered a fundamental aspect within the sustainability agenda. Thereafter it gained significant recognition. Despite the enormous amount of work which has been done in this regard in the last decades, there has been no agreement about a comprehensive definition of social sustainability to date, and this notion remains under-theorized to some extent(Åhman, 2013; Jaeger, Tàbara, & Jaeger, 2011; Littig & Griebler, 2005; Weingaertner & Moberg, 2014). Hence this paper aims to provide an understanding of the meaning of social sustainability, and the influential factors associated with it.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jsspi.v4n2a3