Networking the Environment: Social Network Analysis in Human-Environmental Relations
Isabel Díaz Reviriego (Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain), Laura Calvet Mir (Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain), Matthieu Salpeteur (Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain) & Victoria Reyes García (ICREA and Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain)
In the last decade scholars have started to apply social networks to the analysis of human-environment relations. This body of research, interdisciplinary in its nature, has analyzed a) how social organization in networks helps explain the management of natural resources, and b) how Local Ecological Knowledge (LEK) is transmitted through such networks.
First, social network analysis has enabled scientists to understand the relation between structural characteristics of social processes (such as different levels of collaboration and processes of social learning) and features linked to the resilience of complex socio-ecological systems (such as adaptability to changes or dynamic flows of information and resources).
Second, social network analysis has helped to move research on the distribution and transmission of LEK, from the personal characteristics of knowledge holders to the relational aspects that affect the distribution of knowledge. Since LEK is socially acquired and social networks are structures through which most knowledge is transmitted, it is important to study to what extent social networks can explain its intra-cultural variation.
This panel aims at bringing together scholars advancing research in those two related areas linking social networks and the environmental sciences. The session will provide a forum for debate and would open up new research avenues relevant to these fields. As interdisciplinary researchers, communication and collaboration is extremely important to share and develop new ideas. Papers about case studies, addressing methodological issues as well as epistemological limits of such approaches are welcome.