Community Resilience in Southern Appalachia: A Theoretical Framework and Three Case Studies

Jordan W. Smith, Roger L. Moore, Dorothy H. Anderson, Christos Siderelis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


A fundamental assumption in nearly all research on social adaptation to environmental change is that there is a concomitant and inverse relationship between human communities' dependence upon particular natural resources affected by environmental change and those communities or societies' resilience to disturbances. However, recent theoretical and empirical developments suggest resilience is a dynamic social process determined, in part, by the ability of communities to act collectively and solve common problems. The interactional approach to community is utilized to develop a framework whereby various patterns of social interaction define the process of social resilience. Data come from multiple mixed methods case studies of forest dependent communities within Southern Appalachia. The findings reveal varied processes of social resilience can occur in communities with similar levels of resource dependence; a community's composition of internal social ties and their cross-scale linkages to external agencies and organizations define these processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-353
Number of pages13
JournalHuman Ecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2012


  • Adaptation
  • Resource dependence
  • Social capital

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