Environment, Community, & Social Movements

This area brings together three sub-fields of Sociology that may be examined separately, but which also sometimes overlap. We highlight both separate and overlapping research interests within this broad context.

 1. Resource management, social sustainability and climate change

Issues of resource management (forestry, fisheries, aquaculture, agriculture) have long been a focus for UBC sociologists. Recently this has broadened to include climate change, both from a ‘cultural model’ perspective and a ‘new’ institutional analysis perspective. The latter focuses on the adaptive capacity of communities to respond effectively to climate change. Related foci include relations among eco-system planning, adaptive management and human well-being as these relate to resource extraction, human migration and the adaptive capacity of communities. On-going work examines globalization and the public policy impacts on resource management, particularly around issues of land-use planning, aboriginal rights and tenures, the environmental impacts of urban residential sprawl and community development more generally. (Corrigall-Brown, Lauster, Matthews, Tindall)

 2. Urban and rural community social capital and human well-being

Active research programs related to social capital and social networks examine these concepts both as individual social resources and as contributions to communal well-being. This research particularly focuses on social capital and health, and on the relationship between social capital and economic outcomes. It also focuses on issues of measurement – involving community capacity, social networks, social capital analysis and various constructs of health and well-being. Additional projects study urban and rural immigrant communities and urban labour organization and their impacts. Faculty members also work with aboriginal and urban communities around community social and economic development, education and health. (Carpiano, Fu, Lauer, Lauster, Matthews, Richardson, Roth, Tindall, Veenstra, Wilkes)

 3. Social movements and collective action, framing and mobilization

Active research programs in this area examine social movements and collective action to help in understanding the causes and consequences of protest, direct action, civil unrest and other forms of political action. Areas of ongoing work include: studies of media coverage (both written and photographed) of direct actions by indigenous people in Canada; studies of the media portrayal and framing of aquaculture; an examination of social movement framing and media coverage of forestry and other environmental issues in British Columbia and elsewhere; and participation in collective action movements. (Corrigall-Brown, Duina, Fu, Ghaziani, Matthews, Tindall, Wilkes)