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The “social” aspect of social-ecological systems: a critique of analytical frameworks and findings from a multisite study of coastal sustainability

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The “social” aspect of social-ecological systems : a critique of analytical frameworks and findings from a multisite study of coastal sustainability. / Stojanovic, Tim; McNae, Hilda; Tett, Paul; Potts, Tavis W.; Reis, J.; Smith, Hance D.; Dillingham, Ian.

In: Ecology and Society, Vol. 21, No. 3, 15, 01.09.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Harvard

Stojanovic, T, McNae, H, Tett, P, Potts, TW, Reis, J, Smith, HD & Dillingham, I 2016, 'The “social” aspect of social-ecological systems: a critique of analytical frameworks and findings from a multisite study of coastal sustainability', Ecology and Society, vol. 21, no. 3, 15. https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-08633-210315

APA

Stojanovic, T., McNae, H., Tett, P., Potts, T. W., Reis, J., Smith, H. D., & Dillingham, I. (2016). The “social” aspect of social-ecological systems: a critique of analytical frameworks and findings from a multisite study of coastal sustainability. Ecology and Society, 21(3), [15]. https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-08633-210315

Vancouver

Stojanovic T, McNae H, Tett P, Potts TW, Reis J, Smith HD et al. The “social” aspect of social-ecological systems: a critique of analytical frameworks and findings from a multisite study of coastal sustainability. Ecology and Society. 2016 Sep 1;21(3). 15. https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-08633-210315

Author

Stojanovic, Tim ; McNae, Hilda ; Tett, Paul ; Potts, Tavis W. ; Reis, J. ; Smith, Hance D. ; Dillingham, Ian. / The “social” aspect of social-ecological systems : a critique of analytical frameworks and findings from a multisite study of coastal sustainability. In: Ecology and Society. 2016 ; Vol. 21, No. 3.

Bibtex - Download

@article{23f3ecfc0dbe497c83c9b6a7d210a228,
title = "The “social” aspect of social-ecological systems: a critique of analytical frameworks and findings from a multisite study of coastal sustainability",
abstract = "We evaluate whether society can adequately be conceptualized as a component of social-ecological systems, given social theory and the current outputs of systems-based research. A mounting critique from the social sciences posits that resilience theory has undertheorized social entities with the concept of social-ecological systems. We trace the way that use of the term has evolved, relating to social science theory. Scientometic and network analysis provide a wide range of empirical data about the origin, growth, and use of this term in academic literature. A content analysis of papers in Ecology and Society demonstrates a marked emphasis in research on institutions, economic incentives, land use, population, social networks, and social learning. These findings are supported by a review of systems science in 18 coastal assessments. This reveals that a systems-based conceptualization tends to limit the kinds of social science research favoring quantitative couplings of social and ecological components and downplaying interpretive traditions of social research. However, the concept of social-ecological systems remains relevant because of the central insights concerning the dynamic coupling between humans and the environment, and its salient critique about the need for multidisciplinary approaches to solve real world problems, drawing on heuristic devices. The findings of this study should lead to more circumspection about whether a systems approach warrants such claims to comprehensiveness. Further methodological advances are required for interdisciplinarity. Yet there is evidence that systems approaches remain highly productive and useful for considering certain social components such as land use and hybrid ecological networks. We clarify advantages and restrictions of utilizing such a concept, and propose a reformulation that supports engagement with wider traditions of research in the social sciences.",
keywords = "Coastal, Scientometric analysis, Social-ecological, Social-ecological systems, Social science, Socio-ecological",
author = "Tim Stojanovic and Hilda McNae and Paul Tett and Potts, {Tavis W.} and J. Reis and Smith, {Hance D.} and Ian Dillingham",
note = "The work described here was partly funded by the European Commission{\textquoteright}s FP6 contract 036992.",
year = "2016",
month = sep,
day = "1",
doi = "10.5751/ES-08633-210315",
language = "English",
volume = "21",
journal = "Ecology and Society",
issn = "1708-3087",
publisher = "The Resilience Alliance",
number = "3",

}

RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) - Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - The “social” aspect of social-ecological systems

T2 - a critique of analytical frameworks and findings from a multisite study of coastal sustainability

AU - Stojanovic, Tim

AU - McNae, Hilda

AU - Tett, Paul

AU - Potts, Tavis W.

AU - Reis, J.

AU - Smith, Hance D.

AU - Dillingham, Ian

N1 - The work described here was partly funded by the European Commission’s FP6 contract 036992.

PY - 2016/9/1

Y1 - 2016/9/1

N2 - We evaluate whether society can adequately be conceptualized as a component of social-ecological systems, given social theory and the current outputs of systems-based research. A mounting critique from the social sciences posits that resilience theory has undertheorized social entities with the concept of social-ecological systems. We trace the way that use of the term has evolved, relating to social science theory. Scientometic and network analysis provide a wide range of empirical data about the origin, growth, and use of this term in academic literature. A content analysis of papers in Ecology and Society demonstrates a marked emphasis in research on institutions, economic incentives, land use, population, social networks, and social learning. These findings are supported by a review of systems science in 18 coastal assessments. This reveals that a systems-based conceptualization tends to limit the kinds of social science research favoring quantitative couplings of social and ecological components and downplaying interpretive traditions of social research. However, the concept of social-ecological systems remains relevant because of the central insights concerning the dynamic coupling between humans and the environment, and its salient critique about the need for multidisciplinary approaches to solve real world problems, drawing on heuristic devices. The findings of this study should lead to more circumspection about whether a systems approach warrants such claims to comprehensiveness. Further methodological advances are required for interdisciplinarity. Yet there is evidence that systems approaches remain highly productive and useful for considering certain social components such as land use and hybrid ecological networks. We clarify advantages and restrictions of utilizing such a concept, and propose a reformulation that supports engagement with wider traditions of research in the social sciences.

AB - We evaluate whether society can adequately be conceptualized as a component of social-ecological systems, given social theory and the current outputs of systems-based research. A mounting critique from the social sciences posits that resilience theory has undertheorized social entities with the concept of social-ecological systems. We trace the way that use of the term has evolved, relating to social science theory. Scientometic and network analysis provide a wide range of empirical data about the origin, growth, and use of this term in academic literature. A content analysis of papers in Ecology and Society demonstrates a marked emphasis in research on institutions, economic incentives, land use, population, social networks, and social learning. These findings are supported by a review of systems science in 18 coastal assessments. This reveals that a systems-based conceptualization tends to limit the kinds of social science research favoring quantitative couplings of social and ecological components and downplaying interpretive traditions of social research. However, the concept of social-ecological systems remains relevant because of the central insights concerning the dynamic coupling between humans and the environment, and its salient critique about the need for multidisciplinary approaches to solve real world problems, drawing on heuristic devices. The findings of this study should lead to more circumspection about whether a systems approach warrants such claims to comprehensiveness. Further methodological advances are required for interdisciplinarity. Yet there is evidence that systems approaches remain highly productive and useful for considering certain social components such as land use and hybrid ecological networks. We clarify advantages and restrictions of utilizing such a concept, and propose a reformulation that supports engagement with wider traditions of research in the social sciences.

KW - Coastal

KW - Scientometric analysis

KW - Social-ecological

KW - Social-ecological systems

KW - Social science

KW - Socio-ecological

U2 - 10.5751/ES-08633-210315

DO - 10.5751/ES-08633-210315

M3 - Article

VL - 21

JO - Ecology and Society

JF - Ecology and Society

SN - 1708-3087

IS - 3

M1 - 15

ER -

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