Dynamic semantic network analysis for identifying the concept and scope of social sustainability

Keeheon Lee, Hosang Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Social sustainability is important across disciplines in the era of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, many scholars note that its concept and scope are ambiguous regardless of public attention and importance. It limits the development of social sustainability research. Therefore, in this study, we introduce a data-driven approach for identifying the concept and scope of social sustainability. We apply dynamic semantic network analysis to the current social sustainability literature over time. This analysis partitions the diffusion of social sustainability in academia into several periods by detecting change points. It also builds semantic networks periodically to discover the concept and scope in the network analysis perspective. Our result shows that social sustainability penetrated into disciplines with minimal innovation and high imitation rates. The concept of social sustainability has been changed several times by including the humanity of community and individuals during its diffusion. The scope of social sustainability has been enlarged but is densely intertwined. That is, social sustainability more concerns quality of life in a society, which is independent from economic and environmental sustainability. And thus, it considers human factors and social effects in a supply chain of products and services. This statement means that social sustainability developed to include the various values of humanity in our society that we should retain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1510-1524
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) [ NRF-2017R1C1B1010094 ]; by the Ministry of Education, Sejong City, Korea . This work was supported (in part) by the Yonsei University Future-leading Research Initiative of 2017 ( 2017-22-0067 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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