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Contribution to Book
The Importance of Social Capital in Building Community Resilience
Rethinking Resilience, Adaptation, and Transformation in a Time of Change (2017)
  • Daniel P Aldrich, Northeastern University
Abstract
This chapter uses examples from a number of recent disasters to illuminate the ways that social capital serves as a critical part of resilience. Specifically the article looks at the response from the perspective of social networks to disaster in Bangkok, Thailand, the Tohoku region of Japan, and Christchurch in New Zealand. I introduce three types of social capital—bonding, bridging, and linking— and discuss the mechanism by which they are created and employed using concrete examples. In these cases social cohesion keeps people from leaving disaster-struck regions, allows for the easy mobilization of groups, and provides informal insurance
when normal resource providers are not open. Social networks improve disaster recovery for local residents, communities, and the nation as well. Disasters are, and will continue to be, a challenge for both developed and developing countries everywhere. With this understanding in mind, it is important that communities build social capital in advance of disasters by communities as well as by planners and other decision makers. Preparing for disaster with an emphasis on physical infrastructural solutions, such as higher seawalls, raised floors, higher
building standards, and so forth, is not sufficient to avoid the negative impact of disasters.
Keywords
  • social capital,
  • community resilience,
  • Tohoku disaster,
  • Japan
Publication Date
2017
Editor
W. Yan and W. Galloway
Publisher
Springer
Citation Information
Daniel P Aldrich. "The Importance of Social Capital in Building Community Resilience" Rethinking Resilience, Adaptation, and Transformation in a Time of Change (2017)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/daniel_aldrich/38/