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The dynamics of purposeful change: a model

Howard Silverman, Pacific Northwest College of Art
Gregory M Hill, University of Portland


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In order to describe and depict the dynamics of purposeful change, we reexamine the concept of social-ecological systems (SES) and propose a linked but not integrated SES model. Adapting core resilience tools (stability landscape and panarchy), we construct a general model and then use a framework of key concepts (identity, logics, affiliations, affordances) to analyze the dynamics depicted therein. We illustrate this model’s use in two cases: a retrospective analysis of food-systems work amidst contending social regimes and an interpretive reading of published narratives describing individual-to-ecological stability and change. We discuss this model’s applicability in situations involving divergent perspectives, micro-meso-macro social dynamics, social regime identity, and the distinct dynamics of social and ecological systems. This examination illustrates the power and flexibility of these core resilience tools.

Key words

bricolage; institutional logics; path dependence; reflexivity; social attractors; system archetypes

Copyright © 2018 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087