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The impact of resource development on social ties: Theory and methods for assessment

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The concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) matured in the context of debates over sustainable development, embedding the principle that current economic activities must not compromise environmental and social resources for future generations.While there are various contending theories of CSR, most of them recognise corporate responsibilities to the communities in which they operate, responsibilities to align their activities to some degree with the long-term interests of these communities.

Usually, providing local jobs with decent wages and working conditions is counted as a benefit to be weighed against whatever negative environmental or social impacts might accompany them. But, when the communities in question are indigenous, with predominantly non-market social and cultural systems, more complex trade-offs arise about the impact of jobs and wages on community well-being. Jobs and wages may have negative as well as positive social effects. In this chapter we address the question: How does resource development and the associated increase in the cash economy affect social relationships and well-being in indigenous communities rooted in traditional relations of subsistence production?
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Keywords: assessment; development; impact; methods; resource; social; theory ; ties

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 12 November 2008

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