Framing in Sustainability Science

  • Kudo S
  • Mino T
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This chapter discusses multiple understanding of sustainability by exam- ining the process to identify what must be framed as sustainability challenges. The chapter first provides a summary of past development of sustainability science as a new interdisciplinary filed that sets its primary purposes in understanding complex human-nature system and academic knowledge contribution to the pursuit of sus- tainable development. To elaborate some of the educational features of sustainabil- ity science, brief history and curriculum design of Graduate Program in Sustainability Science – Global Leadership Initiative (GPSS-GLI) of The University of Tokyo is introduced. One central question in sustainability science is “what to frame as sus- tainability challenges?”. The chapter employs the concept of framing to examine what topics to be included and how they should be discussed in sustainability sci- ence. Framing explains how people perceive and interpret particular topics or events with the social norms, values, and assumptions that they apply in all situations. Being self-aware about what type of framing is used when discussing particular sustainability challenge is critically important. At the last, the chapter proposes a conceptual framework that includes holistic treatment, resilience, and trans- boundary thinking to depict multi-level dynamics of sustainability challenges. This framework serves as a guideline to (i) analyze the complexity of sustainability issues through multiple framings, (ii) apply holistic treatment and trans-boundary thinking in the process of developing action plans, and (iii) evaluate the proposed




Kudo, S., & Mino, T. (2020). Framing in Sustainability Science (pp. 3–15).

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