Making Sense of Social Sustainability

Kai Roland Green*, Katia Dupret

*Corresponding author

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapportBidrag til bog/antologiForskningpeer review


This chapter takes a hybrid interpretation of social sustainability from the domains of policy, economics and sociology. We argue that the concept inherits a certain epistemological outlook that leaves the potential of socially sustainable organizing tied to vision-centric values of Western knowledge. Taking a point of departure in the lack of multi-sensory development in the contemporary discourse of social sustainability, we address the dominance of vision (as purportedly the most accurate sense for gaining knowledge) that has been on the radar of philosophical critique for much of the 20th Century (Jay, 1993). The chapter is theoretically positioned within the so-called ‘sensory turn’ that emerged in history and anthropology from the 1980s (Bull and Howes, 2016); we build on the gradual additions of more bodily experiences to what was deemed ‘legitimate’ social science (Luker, 2008), and propose three alternative models to mono-sensory thinking. Some central feminist epistemological principles contribute to our understanding of the sensory turn – including a separation from nature, a linear view of time, and emotional dislocation from worldly ‘objects’. This chapter brings these insights to bear on the question of how alternative sensory ways of knowing and acting collectively might give new credence to social sustainability.
TitelSocial Sustainability in Unsustainable Society : Concepts, Critiques and Counter-Narratives
RedaktørerJo Krøjer, Luise Li Langergaard
Antal sider19
ISBN (Trykt)978-3-031-51368-8, 978-3-031-51365-7
ISBN (Elektronisk)978-3-031-51366-4
StatusUdgivet - 2023
NavnEthical Economy


  • Social sustainability
  • senses

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