Making the (in)visible, visible: a post-disaster case study of social networks in the suburb of Sumner, Christchurch.
The social dimension of disaster recovery has, in recent times, gained attention in the literature in the fields of social capital, community-based recovery, wellbeing and resilience. Social networks are a consistently recognised component across this scholarship. While there has been a great deal of research around the role and value of social networks, there has been an insufficient amount of work carried out on identifying the social networks themselves. This has resulted in the dominance of some networks (visible networks) and the (in)visibility of others - networks that are recognised, but not assigned enough significance. This thesis presents the results of research that sought to explore this gap by identifying the form and diversity of social networks and exploring their meaning in the post-disaster suburb of Sumner Christchurch. This qualitative case study approach utilised in-depth interviews, open-ended questions and observation. Findings reveal the existence of many more informal social networks than the visible networks typically identified in the literature. Moreover, these (in)visible networks held a variety of meanings for residents of Sumner that were significant for disaster recovery. It can be concluded that (in)visible networks are a valuable form of social network in disaster recovery, and worthy of greater attention.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordspost-disaster; social recovery; community resilience; social capital; social network; disaster recovery; community participation; community engagement
Fields of Research160403 Social and Cultural Geography
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