Social capital, individual responses to heatwaves and climate change adaptation: an empirical study of two UK cities

Wolf, J. and Adger, W. and Lorenzoni, I. and Abrahamson, V. and Raine, R. (2010) Social capital, individual responses to heatwaves and climate change adaptation: an empirical study of two UK cities. Global Environmental Change, 20 (1). pp. 44-52. ISSN 0959-3780. (doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2009.09.004) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2009.09.004

Abstract

It has been claimed that high social capital contributes to both positive public health outcomes and to climate change adaptation. Strong social networks have been said to support individuals and collective initiatives of adaptation and enhance resilience. As a result, there is an expectation that social capital could reduce vulnerability to risks from the impacts of climate change in the health sector. This paper examines evidence on the role social networks play in individuals’ responses to heat wave risk in a case study in the UK. Based on interviews with independently living elderly people and their primary social contacts in London and Norwich, we suggest that strong bonding networks could potentially exacerbate rather than reduce the vulnerability of elderly people to the effects of heat waves. Most respondents interviewed did not feel that heat waves posed a significant risk to them personally, and most said that they would be able to cope with hot weather. Bonding networks could perpetuate rather than challenge these narratives and therefore contribute to vulnerability rather than ameliorating it. These results suggest a complex rather than uniformly positive relationship between social capital, health and adaptation to climate change.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Tony Rees
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2014 14:25 UTC
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2018 11:34 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/45641 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Abrahamson, V.: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1169-9457
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