An accidental outcome: Social capital and its implications for Landcare and the "status quo"

Compton, Erlina and Beeton, R. J. S. (Bob) (2012) An accidental outcome: Social capital and its implications for Landcare and the "status quo". Journal of Rural Studies, 28 2: 149-160. doi:10.1016/j.jrurstud.2011.12.004

Author Compton, Erlina
Beeton, R. J. S. (Bob)
Title An accidental outcome: Social capital and its implications for Landcare and the "status quo"
Journal name Journal of Rural Studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0743-0167
Publication date 2012-04
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2011.12.004
Volume 28
Issue 2
Start page 149
End page 160
Total pages 12
Editor Rebecca Kay
Sergei Shubin
Tatjana Thelen
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
For 25 years the Australian Landcare program has encouraged rural land managers to work cooperatively to resolve natural resource management issues across the nation. Landcare has spread and the model is used internationally. Despite its successes, Landcare has come under criticism for not sufficiently directing land management practices towards environmental sustainability. This criticism sees it as having maintained the “status quo”.
Alternatively Landcare has been credited with acting as an agent that creates social capital, bringing neighbours together to share ideas and implement cooperative projects. We use the concept of social capital to offer insight into how Landcare groups as social networks can either inhibit or promote changes in land management.
Using findings from a study of 16 Landcare groups in South Eastern Victoria, Australia, we demonstrate that various forms of social capital can act to either inhibit or empower individuals and groups to challenge the status quo of land management practice. We explain how the intentions of these grass roots organisations are to emphasise local knowledge, ownership and power. However, in some cases these actions produce the accidental outcome of maintaining the status quo. We argue that the way Landcare groups are supported can further aggravates this.
At a time when the health of Landcare is in question, and the need for solutions to natural resource management problems are critical, understanding the implications of these findings will enable institutions to tailor programs to facilitate groups to challenge the status quo and reinvigorate interest in Landcare as a community building model.
Keyword Landcare
Social capital
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Special issue: Rural Realities in the Post-Socialist Space

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
Official 2013 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 12 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 17 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 01 Mar 2012, 09:46:39 EST by Alexandra Simmonds on behalf of School of Geography, Planning & Env Management