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Diversity of livelihoods and social sustainability in established mining communities

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Lena Abrahamsson, Eugenia Segerstedt

01 April 2019


Mining Towns Librarian

Journal article

Municipal Capability & Partnership Programme


The challenges for any community that seeks to maintain a healthy and thriving social life around an operating mine have been considered at some length in research, but the picture is still far from complete. In order to pinpoint some of the gaps in research, the literature on social sustainability as applied to established mining communities in developed countries is reviewed here, and the authors touch on the general understanding of the social sustainability of such communities. Diversity of livelihoods is explored as an analytical lens which can be used to approach social sustainability challenges without essentialising the preferences of social groups. Extensive literature searches with keywords such as mining, work, gender, organisation, social, sustainability, community, town, area, cohesion and inclusion were conducted. The results of the review show a research gap between studies of mining companies and studies of wider mining communities. The authors conclude that considering diversity of livelihoods can be a productive analytical tool when approaching aspects of social sustainability such as social cohesion and inclusion, gender equality, managed migration, demographics, and housing infrastructure. Continued research is recommended to further bridge the gap between studies of mining companies and studies of mining communities from the perspective of social sustainability.


This resource is part of the Mining Towns Collection kindly sponsored by the Municipal Capability and Partnership Programme. Abstract based on source.



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