Psychological Aspects of Cultural Sustainability: Several Case Studies

By William W. Bostock.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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

The sustainability of the culture of a community is not just a question of its intrinsic value; it can also be a question of life and death. Physical health is closely related to mental health, which consists in a level of collective mental state, such as elation, depression, energy or apathy. The mental state is related to a sense of coherence, as Antonovsky called it, and culture is the major source of the sense of coherence, in the form of identity. The primary vehicle for identity is language, and so when a language is devalued, either by intention of effect, cultural sustainability is likely to be diminished and physical survival put into question. This process occurs at a psychological level, while the reverse dynamic is also true. The psychological aspects of cultural sustainability are thus mental state, identity, memory, psychic capital, and mental and physical health. Some case studies showing the effects of reduced or enhanced cultural sustainability will be presented.

Keywords: Cultural Sustainablity, Psychological State, Sense of Coherence, Collective Depression

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp.77-86. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.177MB).

Dr. William W. Bostock

Senior Lecturer, School of Government, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tas, Australia

William W. Bostock, Ph.D., Dip. Psych. is Senior Lecturer in Government at the University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay Campus. He has research interests in political psychology and transdisciplinary research and is currently Post-Graduate Co-ordinator for the School of Government, University of Tasmania.

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