Effects of market participation on community perceived adaptive capacity and resilience in rural Samoa
Vickers, Jonathan Brent
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This dissertation determines the effects of increased market participation on perceived adaptive capacity and resilience in the village of Falealupo, Samoa. Approaching the intellectually challenging problem of resilience from the perspectives of local community members, the researcher produced mixed sets of quantitative and qualitative data on local adaptive capacity. First, the research discussed recent droughts and cyclones with community members. Then, the researcher used the analysis of these interviews to develop contextual variables of adaptive capacity, including variables that measured household participation in the market and household social capital. The research then measured perceived household adaptive capacity in each of the households. Statistical comparison of the variables suggested that increased market participation was not associated with a reduction in the size of household’s social capital, measured in terms of locally-based immediate family members. A qualitative analysis of household social networks likewise suggested that economic has influenced a change in the sphere of a household’s social network from the extended kinship group to the immediate family, but that kinship plays a large role in promoting adaptive capacity in rural villages. The findings of this study are important because they demonstrate that role that local social institutions play in shaping the interactions between variables of adaptive capacity. The findings also suggest that community members’ perspectives of resilience can be used to produce contextual variables to measure economic and social attributes of adaptive capacity.