The purpose of present thesis is twofold. Firstly, it aims offering an explanation about the diversity of methodological approaches proposed until today for SLCA, tracking down its roots in the cultural and scientific heritage of social sciences, especially sociology and management sciences. This will help to shift the current methodological debate in SLCA to an epistemological level, through a critical review about the underlying paradigms have been applied in SLCA literature until now. Secondly, the research will highlight the possible consequences of different paradigmatic stances in sLCA by means of the application of two different methodological proposals set up from opposite paradigms (post-positivism and interpretivism) and compared in terms of research process and typology of insights. The thesis moves from the assumption that the diversity of positions in philosophy of science and the multiparadigmatic character of sociology and management research have had repercussions on SLCA since its beginnings, even if not in an explicit way. The concept of sustainability and sustainable development in scientific literature have been reviewed, as well as the principal concepts of social sustainability and inherent practical issues. Likewise, the same concept of social sustainability has been analysed through a critical review of scientific peer-reviewed literature on SLCA. Then, an analysis of which disciplinary fields are linked to SLCA and for which reason has been conducted. A digression on the philosophy of science and the criteria of knowledge validation introduces the description of two main families of paradigms of sociology and management research, namely post-positivism and interpretivism. A second critical review has been conducted to investigate which scientific paradigms have been applied in SLCA studies from 1996 to September 2015. Three quarters of the scientific papers published until now in SLCA can be ascribed to the group of interpretivism-oriented paradigms, and only the remaining quarter can be ascribed to post-positivist ones. This data deserve some attention, because since the beginnings of SLCA methodologies, most of the scholars involved claimed for application of the same assessment perspective of eLCA (post-positivist) to social impacts. Then, two different methodologies are set up starting from opposite paradigms and applied to the same case study, i.e. citrus growing in Calabria region (South Italy), an agricultural sector important for the regional economy (Calabria is the second producer of citrus at national level), but also well-known for social urgencies. Finally, the two paradigmatic approaches, in which the two methodological proposals are framed, are compared highlighting the main features and the different significance of results obtained. In the light of the reflections carried out, it is arguable that it is of utmost importance in this prescientific phase of SLCA development, to be aware of which paradigms are underlying the work of the scholars. Indeed, the simple methodological debate should be put forward, and should be aware of the multilayered nature of social phenomena and the multiparadigmatic characteristics of social and management sciences.

Paradgmatic stances and methodological issues in social life cycle assessment. Comparison of two different methodological proposals applied to agricultural products / Iofrida, Nathalie. - (2016 Apr 07).

Paradgmatic stances and methodological issues in social life cycle assessment. Comparison of two different methodological proposals applied to agricultural products

IOFRIDA, Nathalie
2016-04-07

Abstract

The purpose of present thesis is twofold. Firstly, it aims offering an explanation about the diversity of methodological approaches proposed until today for SLCA, tracking down its roots in the cultural and scientific heritage of social sciences, especially sociology and management sciences. This will help to shift the current methodological debate in SLCA to an epistemological level, through a critical review about the underlying paradigms have been applied in SLCA literature until now. Secondly, the research will highlight the possible consequences of different paradigmatic stances in sLCA by means of the application of two different methodological proposals set up from opposite paradigms (post-positivism and interpretivism) and compared in terms of research process and typology of insights. The thesis moves from the assumption that the diversity of positions in philosophy of science and the multiparadigmatic character of sociology and management research have had repercussions on SLCA since its beginnings, even if not in an explicit way. The concept of sustainability and sustainable development in scientific literature have been reviewed, as well as the principal concepts of social sustainability and inherent practical issues. Likewise, the same concept of social sustainability has been analysed through a critical review of scientific peer-reviewed literature on SLCA. Then, an analysis of which disciplinary fields are linked to SLCA and for which reason has been conducted. A digression on the philosophy of science and the criteria of knowledge validation introduces the description of two main families of paradigms of sociology and management research, namely post-positivism and interpretivism. A second critical review has been conducted to investigate which scientific paradigms have been applied in SLCA studies from 1996 to September 2015. Three quarters of the scientific papers published until now in SLCA can be ascribed to the group of interpretivism-oriented paradigms, and only the remaining quarter can be ascribed to post-positivist ones. This data deserve some attention, because since the beginnings of SLCA methodologies, most of the scholars involved claimed for application of the same assessment perspective of eLCA (post-positivist) to social impacts. Then, two different methodologies are set up starting from opposite paradigms and applied to the same case study, i.e. citrus growing in Calabria region (South Italy), an agricultural sector important for the regional economy (Calabria is the second producer of citrus at national level), but also well-known for social urgencies. Finally, the two paradigmatic approaches, in which the two methodological proposals are framed, are compared highlighting the main features and the different significance of results obtained. In the light of the reflections carried out, it is arguable that it is of utmost importance in this prescientific phase of SLCA development, to be aware of which paradigms are underlying the work of the scholars. Indeed, the simple methodological debate should be put forward, and should be aware of the multilayered nature of social phenomena and the multiparadigmatic characteristics of social and management sciences.
Settore AGR/01 - ECONOMIA ED ESTIMO RURALE
STRANO, ALFIO
DE LUCA, Anna irene
ABENAVOLI, Maria Rosa
Doctoral Thesis
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12318/63403
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