SESYNC, 1 Park Place Suite 300, Annapolis, MD
Arctic communities are experiencing unprecedented challenges caused by global forces of climatic, economic, ecological, political, and cultural change. The mixed cash-subsistence economies of rural villages reflect the complex interplay among these forces, so understanding the relationship between contemporary practices and accumulated cultural values, norms, and institutions can guide efforts to assess individual adaptability and community resilience. Research throughout the arctic suggests that social networks play a key role in mixed economies and may be essential for enduring forces of change.
In this seminar, I will present preliminary analysis of demographic and economic factors underlying social networks in rural Alaska that emerge from the mixed economy. I will also describe some theoretical and methodological tools that could be useful in synthesizing research on sustainability in the natural and social sciences.