Author ORCID Identifier

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 4-30-2021


Sustainability, Cultural heritage, Cultural affiliations, Rapa Nui (Easter Island), Communities


We explore how the combination of cultural heritage and present-day cultural affili- ations influences the construction of the concept of sustainability at the scale of the community using the case study of Rapa Nui (Easter Island, Chile). We argue that overlapping affiliations—expressed through administrative culture, organizational culture, and professional culture—influence the views held by governance leaders. Furthermore, the role of cultural heritage must be considered in efforts to change and perpetuate sustainability-related behaviors within a community. Using archeo- logical and historical evidence from the pre-contact and historical record of Rapa Nui, we discuss how cultural heritage evolved endogenously in response to biophysical and socio-economic forces. We then explore how this cultural heritage inter- acts with cultural affiliations thorugh the analysis of interviews with six governance leaders. Five different discourses that reflect elements of the common heritage of the respondents as well as elements of their various administrative/organizational/ professional cultural affiliations emerge from this analysis.



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