Valuing socio‐diversity

Sabine U. O’Hara (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Publication date: 1 May 1995


The loss of bio‐diversity has received increasing attention as one of the most serious environmental threats we face. Yet not only biodiversity is being lost at staggering rates, socio‐diversity is being lost as well. Sociodiversity is defined as the various social and economic arrangements by which people organize their societies, particularly the underlying assumptions, goals, values and social behaviours guiding these arrangements. Just as the loss of bio‐diversity has focused attention on the interface between human socio‐economic and ecological systems, so too can the interaction between these systems give us insights into the reasons for the loss of diversity in socio‐economic systems. Examines the assumptions and valuation concepts underlying economic theory and the ways in which mainline economic theory contributes to the loss of socio‐economic diversity. The analysis draws on ecologically relevant concepts and proposes that the base for economic theory and valuation be expanded to include five categories identified as relevant to sustain bio‐diversity. These are: context, participation, place, limits and temporality. These categories point to the need to expand, diversify and make concrete economic theory and methodology.



O’Hara, S.U. (1995), "Valuing socio‐diversity", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 22 No. 5, pp. 31-49.

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Copyright © 1995, MCB UP Limited

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