Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Charles Crowell


The following paper looks at how local governments in Southeast Alaska can integrate policies, beliefs, and values to shift the primary economic focus to a more ecologically sustainable development. The present political, social and economic situation in Southeast Alaska is introduced in the Problem Statement. This is followed by historical perspectives of: the boom/bust mindset from the 1800s to present; ideas from authors in the field of social change and the forming belief systems; an oral history of Tlingit and Haida belief systems; and environmental activism. The next section presents striking parallels between James K Boyce's, "Towards a Political Economy of Sustainable Development" assertions and those espoused by Southeast Alaskan interview responses. This section speaks of efficiency, equity, and democracy alongside growth as central objectives of sustainable development. After conducting qualitative research with a transcendentant perspective and field research with ethnomethodology, questions of power, inequality, and views on social relations were generated. Data was analyzed with successive approximation to present Southeast Alaskans as individuals rooted in the concrete evidence that surrounds them. Analytic comparison with both method of agreement and disagreement uncovered common themes. Lastly, domain analysis was used to generate a focused theme from a broad range of interviewees. The conclusion states that the emergence of common themes, derived from individuals in small communities, can be integrated into ecologically sustainable policy-making.


Agricultural and Resource Economics | Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | Sociology of Culture