Social networks and the resilience of rural communities in the Global South: a critical review and conceptual reflections

Till Rockenbauch, Patrick Sakdapolrak

Publications: Contribution to journalArticlePeer Reviewed

Abstract

In the last decades, a growing scholarship has outlined the crucial role of social networks as a source of resilience. However, with regard to the Global South, the role of social networks for the resilience of rural communities remains an under-researched and underconceptualized issue, because research remains scattered between different strands and has rarely been integrated from a resilience perspective. To provide common ground for the exchange between disciplines and to identify steps towards a more comprehensive social network perspective on the resilience of rural communities in the Global South, we present a systematic review of contemporary case studies from three strands of research: (i) natural resource management, (ii) agricultural innovation, and (iii) social support. Although studies in each strand have their own particular strengths and weaknesses in addressing aspects of the resilience of rural communities in the Global South, they all share a static view of the outcomes of social networks, tend to emphasize structure over agency, and neglect spatial dimensions of social relations. To address these challenges, we propose a translocal social network perspective on resilience that views rural communities as being embedded in social networks that connect people and facilitate the flow of resources, information, and knowledge between places.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10
Number of pages32
JournalEcology and Society
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 507002 Population geography

Keywords

  • ADAPTATION
  • ADOPTION
  • ECOSYSTEM SERVICES
  • EXCHANGE
  • Global South
  • INNOVATION
  • LIVELIHOOD DIVERSIFICATION
  • MARINE
  • MIGRATION
  • RESOURCE-MANAGEMENT
  • WATER GOVERNANCE
  • migration
  • resilience
  • rural communities
  • social networks
  • translocality
  • Migration
  • Rural communities
  • Social networks
  • Resilience
  • Translocality

Cite this