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Not a zero-sum game: inequalities and resilience in Sumner, Missouri, the Gooseless Goose Capital of the World

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Recent works on socio-ecological resilience stress the need to integrate inequalities and power into considerations of how communities are reorganized in response to socio-ecological transformations such as climate change. These works have often approached inequalities and power as zero-sum games, with scholars framing individuals and groups within communities as either empowered or marginalized. Drawing from 20 months of fieldwork in a rural community in the central United States that was being rearranged in response to shifts in trans-national goose migration patterns, the author shows inequalities and power do not work in such dichotomous manners because different dimensions of inequality intersect and transform each other in reciprocal manners. Gender, class, and sexuality intersected to inform how individuals sustained their community, and particular men and women were simultaneously (dis)advantaged because of how their relationships with each other were rearranged in response to shifting goose migration patterns. These findings suggest scholars and policy makers working on issues related to socio-ecological resilience can better account for inequalities and power by utilizing the theoretical framework of intersectionality.
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Keywords: Community; inequalities; intersectionality; power; resilience

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Sociology, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS, USA

Publication date: February 1, 2018

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