Understanding structural social capital for short and long-term disaster recovery: A case study of Manatee County, Florida

Authors: APARNA KUMARI*, UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO, TIM G FRAZIER, Georgetown University
Topics: Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Human-Environment Geography, Coastal and Marine
Keywords: Social capital, recovery, social network, social institutions, natural hazards
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 2:35 PM / 4:15 PM
Room: Marshall West, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Social capital has been defined as resources embedded in social networks and social structures, which can be mobilized by human agencies/institutions. Social capital incorporates a diverse range of phenomena such as social norms, trust, institutions, and social networks/resources of interpersonal relationships. The structural dimension of social capital puts emphasis on the quality/capacity of social institutions (governmental and non-governmental) and can play a crucial role for the access and mobilization of resources. For a more efficient recovery process, and to better enhance community resilience, it is beneficial to have strong and robust social institutions. This research develops a theoretical framework of structural social capital to evaluate the network structures of institutions/agencies, and factors that influence the capabilities of institutions for disaster preparedness, planning, response, and recovery. This research incorporates social resource theory and structuration theory to define social capital and to better understand the structural dimension about the distribution of power and resources in society that operates at various scales. Results indicate that limited capabilities of social institutions especially non-governmental institutions, differential access to resources, and uncoordinated network characteristics of institutions can impede or slow the disaster recovery process. Results suggest that a comprehensive understanding of social institutions such as network of agencies, availability of resources (financial and human), and communication/interactions of agencies can help to understand the opportunities and constraints of integrating structural social capital for enhanced disaster recovery and planning.

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