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Beyond social capital: the norms, belief systems, and agency embedded in social networks shape resilience to climatic and geophysical hazards

MacGillivray, Brian 2018. Beyond social capital: the norms, belief systems, and agency embedded in social networks shape resilience to climatic and geophysical hazards. Environmental Science and Policy 89 , pp. 116-125. 10.1016/j.envsci.2018.07.014

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Abstract

Theory suggests that social capital should moderate the impacts of climatic and geophysical hazards and shape adaptive capacities and recovery trajectories, yet the empirical evidence is more mixed than commonly supposed. In short, there is a non-monotonic relationship between social capital and disaster resilience: but what are the reasons for this? We first relate this mixed evidence to the “dark side” of social capital, including bonding capital that is cemented by ethnic hostility, patronage networks, “unresponsive” linking capital, and the conservative nature of social capital. We then argue that the scale-dependent, geographic extent, and placed nature of social networks play a critical and oft neglected role in shaping resilience. We turn to discuss the importance of the resources embedded within social networks (financial and human capital), as well as the content of the norms, social memories, and belief systems that are propagated across networks. Network functions – in terms of which goals social networks are directed towards, and the specific resources they bring to bear on them - are then discussed. To conclude we suggest that moving beyond social capital towards a combined focus on the structure, geography and content of social networks offers a promising direction in theorising and analysing resilience.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1462-9011
Funders: National Natural Science Foundation of China, NERC (NE/N012240/1)
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 27 July 2018
Date of Acceptance: 14 July 2018
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2019 02:05
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/113557

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