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Envisioning community sustainability: Views from a rural Alberta community

  • Year: 2008
  • Author: Macklin, Patricia
  • Journal Name: ProQuest Dissertations and Theses
  • Publisher: University of Alberta (Canada)
  • Published Location: Canada
  • ISBN: 9780494473009
  • Country: Canada
  • State/Region: Alberta

Rural community sustainability in Canada has been an issue for at least three decades with sustainability/sustainable development becoming part of the policy lexicon in the last two. While various definitions may incorporate combinations of environmental, economic, social, political and cultural dimensions, consensus is lacking regarding the meaning of 'community sustainability' as the concept has become increasingly co-opted by economic expansionist hegemony.

The purpose of this study was to establish how members of a rural Alberta community conceptualize sustainability in their own community. The method photo elicitation interviews through participant generated photographs allowed for a more focused and grounded discussion of community sustainability. Collectively, respondents conceptualize sustainability in terms of all five dimensions. However the phrase 'community sustainability' has limited resonance and reflects varying degrees of economic expansionist hegemony. Respondents indicate the importance of aspects of social capital and sense of place to community sustainability.

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