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Outline for essay on Cultural Sustainability

March 13, 2012

THESIS: Cultural sustainability involves efforts to preserve the tangible and intangible cultural elements of society such as heritage, shared spaces, public art, social capital, educational opportunities, and public policies, in ways that promote environmental, economic, and social sustainability. Culture and communication inform, shape, and shift our relations with the environment.

I. Define sustainability. Sustainability can be defined as the ability to meet current environmental/ ecological, economic, social, and cultural needs without jeopardizing the ability of future generations to meet those same needs.

A. Environmental/ecological: land, water, air, ecosystems, biosphere.

B. Economic: flow of capital.

C. Social

D. Cultural

II. Examine cultural sustainability.

A. Tangible cultural elements

B. Intangible cultural elements

III. Examine efforts to preserve cultural elements of society in ways that promote sustainability.

A. Education

B. Communication

C. Public policies

D. UNESCO: Linking cultures around the world to promote sustainability

IV. Using communication to guide global sustainability efforts across cultures.

A. Interpersonal, group, mass, and global types of communication

B. Recognize the existence of global differences in language and cultures

C. Brundtland Commission

D. Content: what should be communicated

E. The role of the media in communicating sustainability messages

V. Conclusion.

A. Practical applications of cultural sustainability

B. Communication encourages civic engagement


New Resources


Carbaugh, Donal. “Naturalizing communication and culture.” Ed. J. G. Cantrill and C. L. Oravec. The Symbolic Earth: Discourse and Our Creation of the Environment. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1996. Web. 15 Feb. 2012.

Corbett, Julia B. Communicating Nature: How We Create and Understand Environmental Messages. Washington, DC: Island Press, 2006. Web. 15 Feb. 2012.

Cronon, William. Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1996. Web. 15 Feb. 2012.

Eds. Dilling, Lisa. and Moser, Susanne C. Introduction. Creating a Climate for Change: Communicating Climate Change and Facilitating Social Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007. Web. 15 Feb. 2012.

Evans, Mei Mei. “Nature and environmental justice.” Ed. Joni Adamson, et al. The Environmental Justice Reader: Politics, Poetics, and Pedagogy. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2002. Web. 15 Feb. 2012.

Maniates, Michael. “Editing Out Unsustainable Behavior.” 2010 State of the World: Transforming Cultures, From Consumerism to Sustainability. Worldwatch Institute. New York: W. W. Norton, 2010.

Milstein, Tema O. “Environmental communication theories.” Encyclopedia of Communication Theory. Ed. Stephen Littlejohn and Karen Foss. Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2009. Web. 15 Feb. 2012.

Pyle, Robert M. “Eden in a vacant lot: Special places, species, and kids in the neighborhood of life.” Children and nature: Psychological, sociocultural, and evolutionary investigations, Ed. Peter H. Kahn, Jr. and Stephen R. Kellert. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2002. Web. 15 Feb. 2012.

Sandlin, Jennifer A., and Milam, Jennifer L. “Mixing Pop (Culture) and Politics: Cultural Resistance, Culture Jamming, and Anti-consumption Activism as Critical Public Pedagogy.” Curriculum Inquiry, 38(3). Malden, MA: Wiley Periodicals, Inc., 2008. Web. 15 Feb. 2012.

Sturgeon, Noel. Environmentalism in Popular Culture: Gender, Race, Sexuality, and the Politics of the Natural. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 2009. Web. 15 Feb. 2012.

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 30, 2013 1:52 pm

    great post, very informative. I ponder why the other experts of this sector do not notice this.
    You must proceed your writing. I’m sure, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

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