Social capital as a heuristic device to explore sociocultural sustainability: a case study of mountain resort tourism in the community of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, USA

Ooi, Natalie, Laing, Jennifer and Mair, Judith (2014) Social capital as a heuristic device to explore sociocultural sustainability: a case study of mountain resort tourism in the community of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, USA. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 23 3: 417-436. doi:10.1080/09669582.2014.957211

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Author Ooi, Natalie
Laing, Jennifer
Mair, Judith
Title Social capital as a heuristic device to explore sociocultural sustainability: a case study of mountain resort tourism in the community of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, USA
Journal name Journal of Sustainable Tourism   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0966-9582
1747-7646
Publication date 2014-09-25
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/09669582.2014.957211
Open Access Status
Volume 23
Issue 3
Start page 417
End page 436
Total pages 20
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract While many social theories and concepts have been used within the sustainable tourism literature to identify key elements, stakeholders, and relationships that are central to sustainable tourism development and the tourism–community relationship, there has been limited use of the social capital concept for examining the sociocultural dimension of sustainability, despite its growing appeal within the social sciences as an analytical tool. Based on ethnographic case study research within the mountain resort community of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, this paper adopts social capital as a heuristic device for examining tourism development's sociocultural sustainability. It explains the foundations of the social capital concept with networks, norms, and resources as key components, and the existence of bonding, bridging, and linking social capital. Findings suggest that mountain resort tourism has affected such social capital outcomes and sociocultural sustainability indicators as quality of life, community participation, and the associated notions of democracy, equity, and empowerment, in both positive and negative ways, leading to a spirit of community cooperation, friendliness, grass-roots initiatives and community action group development running alongside social exclusion, transience, and political powerlessness. These findings give empirical weight to using social capital as a guiding construct for the qualitative examination of socioculturally sustainable tourism.
Keyword Social capital
Sustainable tourism
Sociocultural sustainability
Mountain resort tourism
Ethnography
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 25 Sep 2014

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
UQ Business School Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 2 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 2 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 02 Oct 2014, 15:05:44 EST by Karen Morgan on behalf of UQ Business School