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Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(12), 250;

Social Solidarity, Collective Identity, Resilient Communities: Two Case Studies from the Rural U.S. and Uruguay

Department of Sociology, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 August 2018 / Revised: 16 November 2018 / Accepted: 20 November 2018 / Published: 27 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Engaged Scholarship for Resilient Communities)
Full-Text   |   PDF [272 KB, uploaded 27 November 2018]


Worldwide, communities face disruptions driven by phenomena such as climate change and globalization. Socio-ecological resilience theorists have called for greater attention to the social dynamics that inform whether and how communities are reorganized and sustained in response to such challenges. Scholars increasingly stress that social heterogeneities provide resources that communities can mobilize to adapt and sustain themselves in response to disruptions. Utilizing the sociological literature that emphasizes that social solidarities and collective identities are centrally important to community responses to socio-ecological disruptions, we argue that solidarities grounded in collective identities can act as important mediators between social heterogeneity and resilience. Drawing on qualitative data from rural communities in the central United States and southwestern Uruguay, we explore how group solidarity enabled individuals to more effectively draw on their diverse knowledges, skills, and resources to sustain their communities. Linked by a collective identity grounded in rurality, in each setting, individuals effectively worked together to adapt to emerging socio-ecological disruptions. These results suggest that we can better understand how social heterogeneities inform resilience by considering how solidarities grounded in collective identities influence whether and how individuals can successfully cooperate to rearrange and sustain their communities. When working with rural communities, specifically, it will be especially important to account for solidarities and collective identities tied to rurality. View Full-Text
Keywords: resilience; social solidarity; collective identity; adaptation; rural resilience; social solidarity; collective identity; adaptation; rural
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Leap, B.; Thompson, D. Social Solidarity, Collective Identity, Resilient Communities: Two Case Studies from the Rural U.S. and Uruguay. Soc. Sci. 2018, 7, 250.

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