Extreme weather, complex spaces and diverse rural places: An intra-community scale analysis of responses to storm events in rural Scotland, UK

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Abstract

The impacts that increasing rural demographic and socio-cultural diversity has had upon the responses of rural community members to weather-related hazard events has remained relatively understudied within the Disaster Risk Reduction scholarship. Drawing upon interview evidence obtained from a study of three rural communities in Scotland, UK, the article explores how variation in length of residence amongst community members affects abilities to cope during periods of extreme weather, with long-term residence being associated with more positive outcomes than more recent in-migration. The article suggests that differences in responses between long-term residents and more recent in-migrants results from a complex array of differences in exposure to previous storm events, differences in occupational backgrounds that result in differences in ways of relating to the land, and differences in social relationship preferences and expectations. The article makes the claim that policies and practices of Disaster Risk Reduction, including the Scottish Community Resilience initiatives, need to focus more on the intra-community scale in rural settings in order to better protect residents from the risks that extreme weather poses to human well-being. In their present form, Scottish Community Resilience initiatives are likely to be limited in their ability to improve the storm-coping abilities of residents because their implementation at the whole-community scale reflects outdated assumptions about the character of rural communities and ignores the impacts of several decades of demographic change. The findings also raise questions about how the knowledge that enables successful adaptation to environmental
hazard events can be effectively mobilised within increasingly complex and diverse societies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-125
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Rural Studies
Volume54
Early online date5 Jul 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017

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weather
event
disaster
rural community
community
resident
resilience
ability
hazard
cultural diversity
population development
coping
migrant
well-being
analysis
migration
present
interview
society
risk reduction

Keywords

  • Resilience
  • Intra-community
  • Diversity
  • Adaptation
  • Scotland
  • Extreme weather

Cite this

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title = "Extreme weather, complex spaces and diverse rural places: An intra-community scale analysis of responses to storm events in rural Scotland, UK",
abstract = "The impacts that increasing rural demographic and socio-cultural diversity has had upon the responses of rural community members to weather-related hazard events has remained relatively understudied within the Disaster Risk Reduction scholarship. Drawing upon interview evidence obtained from a study of three rural communities in Scotland, UK, the article explores how variation in length of residence amongst community members affects abilities to cope during periods of extreme weather, with long-term residence being associated with more positive outcomes than more recent in-migration. The article suggests that differences in responses between long-term residents and more recent in-migrants results from a complex array of differences in exposure to previous storm events, differences in occupational backgrounds that result in differences in ways of relating to the land, and differences in social relationship preferences and expectations. The article makes the claim that policies and practices of Disaster Risk Reduction, including the Scottish Community Resilience initiatives, need to focus more on the intra-community scale in rural settings in order to better protect residents from the risks that extreme weather poses to human well-being. In their present form, Scottish Community Resilience initiatives are likely to be limited in their ability to improve the storm-coping abilities of residents because their implementation at the whole-community scale reflects outdated assumptions about the character of rural communities and ignores the impacts of several decades of demographic change. The findings also raise questions about how the knowledge that enables successful adaptation to environmentalhazard events can be effectively mobilised within increasingly complex and diverse societies.",
keywords = "Resilience, Intra-community, Diversity, Adaptation, Scotland, Extreme weather",
author = "Irena Connon",
note = "Funding: Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution (KTP Project Grant Number 9415)",
year = "2017",
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language = "English",
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journal = "Journal of Rural Studies",
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AB - The impacts that increasing rural demographic and socio-cultural diversity has had upon the responses of rural community members to weather-related hazard events has remained relatively understudied within the Disaster Risk Reduction scholarship. Drawing upon interview evidence obtained from a study of three rural communities in Scotland, UK, the article explores how variation in length of residence amongst community members affects abilities to cope during periods of extreme weather, with long-term residence being associated with more positive outcomes than more recent in-migration. The article suggests that differences in responses between long-term residents and more recent in-migrants results from a complex array of differences in exposure to previous storm events, differences in occupational backgrounds that result in differences in ways of relating to the land, and differences in social relationship preferences and expectations. The article makes the claim that policies and practices of Disaster Risk Reduction, including the Scottish Community Resilience initiatives, need to focus more on the intra-community scale in rural settings in order to better protect residents from the risks that extreme weather poses to human well-being. In their present form, Scottish Community Resilience initiatives are likely to be limited in their ability to improve the storm-coping abilities of residents because their implementation at the whole-community scale reflects outdated assumptions about the character of rural communities and ignores the impacts of several decades of demographic change. The findings also raise questions about how the knowledge that enables successful adaptation to environmentalhazard events can be effectively mobilised within increasingly complex and diverse societies.

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