The persistence of subsistence: qualitative social-ecological modelling of indigenous aquatic hunting and gathering in tropical Australia

Barber, Marcus, Jackson, Sue, Dambacher, Jeffrey and Finn, Marcus (2015) The persistence of subsistence: qualitative social-ecological modelling of indigenous aquatic hunting and gathering in tropical Australia. Ecology and Society, 20 1: . doi:10.5751/ES-07244-200160


Author Barber, Marcus
Jackson, Sue
Dambacher, Jeffrey
Finn, Marcus
Title The persistence of subsistence: qualitative social-ecological modelling of indigenous aquatic hunting and gathering in tropical Australia
Journal name Ecology and Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1708-3087
Publication date 2015
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.5751/ES-07244-200160
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 20
Issue 1
Total pages 18
Place of publication Waterloo, ON Canada
Publisher Resilience Alliance Publications
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Abstract Subsistence remains critical to indigenous people in settler-colonial states such as Australia, providing key foundations for indigenous identities and for wider state recognition. However, the drivers of contemporary subsistence are rarely fully articulated and analyzed in terms of likely changing conditions. Our interdisciplinary team combined past research experience gained from multiple sites with published literature to create two generalized qualitative models of the socio-cultural and environmental influences on indigenous aquatic subsistence in northern Australia. One model focused on the longer term (inter-year to generational) persistence of subsistence at the community scale, the other model on shorter term (day to season) drivers of effort by active individuals. The specification of driver definitions and relationships demonstrates the complexities of even generalized and materialist models of contemporary subsistence practices. The qualitative models were analyzed for emergent properties and for responses to plausible changes in key variables: access, habitat degradation, social security availability, and community dysfunction. Positive human community condition is shown to be critical to the long-term persistence of subsistence, but complex interactions of negative and positive drivers shape subsistence effort expended at the individual scale and within shorter time frames. Such models enable motivations, complexities, and the potential management and policy levers of significance to be identified, defined, causally related, and debated. The models can be used to augment future models of human-natural systems, be tested against case-specific field conditions and/or indigenous perspectives, and aid preliminary assessments of the effects on subsistence of changes in social and environmental conditions, including policy settings.
Keyword Aboriginal people
Future scenarios
Natural resource management
Qualitative modelling
Subsistence fishing
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Non HERDC
School of Social Science Publications
 
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Created: Mon, 13 Jul 2015, 09:56:39 EST by Julie Hunter on behalf of School of Social Science