This research was supported by a doctoral dissertation improvement grant from the National Science Foundation (Award No. 1030395) and a Hofmann Fellowship from the College of Natural Resources at North Carolina State University. We thank Dr. Ed Kick, Dr. Hugh Devine, and Hollie Smith for their comments and suggestions. Correspondence should be addressed to Jordan W. Smith, Purdue University, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources (FORS 201A), 195 Marsteller Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2061, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Social Capital, Place Meanings, and Perceived Resilience to Climate Change*
Article first published online: 20 JUN 2012
Copyright © 2012, by the Rural Sociological Society
Volume 77, Issue 3, pages 380–407, September 2012
How to Cite
Smith, J. W., Anderson, D. H. and Moore, R. L. (2012), Social Capital, Place Meanings, and Perceived Resilience to Climate Change. Rural Sociology, 77: 380–407. doi: 10.1111/j.1549-0831.2012.00082.x
- Issue published online: 2 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 20 JUN 2012
This research analyzes individuals' perceived resilience to changing climatic conditions. Specifically, we suggest individual resilience is composed of an awareness of localized risks created because of climate change, a willingness to learn about, and plan for, the potential impacts of altered environmental conditions, and general appraisals of personal adaptive capacities. We hypothesize that resilience is influenced by the characteristics of individuals' social networks and also by their social-psychological dependence on local environments. Using data collected in three resource-associated communities within the southeastern United States, our analysis suggests bonding ties may limit individuals' willingness to seek new information about the potential impacts of climate change. Conversely, the data suggest the use of a diverse array of bridging ties is positively associated with information-seeking behavior. The data also support our hypothesis that individuals' social psychological dependencies on the local environment influences their perceived resilience to changing climatic conditions. By gaining a clearer understanding of how individuals' social networks and social-psychological dependencies affect their perceived ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions, decision makers can focus on policy solutions that increase adaptive capacities and build social resilience.