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ERIC Number: EJ784277
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Jun
Pages: 20
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 40
ISSN: ISSN-0036-0112
Community Wildfire Events as a Source of Social Conflict
Carroll, Matthew S.; Higgins, Lorie L.; Cohn, Patricia J.; Burchfield, James
Rural Sociology, v71 n2 p261-280 Jun 2006
The literature notes that natural disasters, including wildfires, that damage human settlements often have the short-term effect of "bringing people together." Less recognized is the fact that such events can also generate social conflict at the local level. This study examines the specific sources of such social conflict during and after community wildfire events. Examining qualitative data generated from six case studies of wildfires in the American West, we suggest that integrating the theories of Weber, Giddens, and Habermas with community interaction theory provides a context for understanding such conflict. Rationalized forms of interaction and problem solving imposed by extra-local organizations during and after wildfire events are often resisted by local actors who are also inhibited from acting due to local capacity limitations. Thus, conflict occurs when social relations are disembedded by non-local entities, and there is a perceived loss of local agency. (Contains 2 tables and 1 footnote.)
Rural Sociological Society. 104 Gentry Hall, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211-7040. Tel: 573-882-9065; Fax: 573-882-1473; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A