The Influence of Ethnic Diversity on Social Network Structure in a Common-Pool Resource System: Implications for Collaborative Management


Barnes-Mauthe, M., S. Arita, S.D. Allen, S.A. Gray and P.S. Leung

Journal or Book Title: Ecology and Society

Keywords: collaborative resource management; common-pool resources; ethnic diversity; fisheries; Hawaii; information exchange; social network analysis

Volume/Issue: 18:1

Page Number(s): Art 23

Year Published: 2013


Social networks have recently been identified as key features in facilitating or constraining collaborative arrangements that can enhance resource governance and adaptability in complex social-ecological systems. Nonetheless, the effect of ethnicity on social network structure in an ethnically diverse common-pool resource system is virtually unknown. We characterize the entire social network of Hawaii’s longline fishery, an ethnically diverse competitive pelagic fishery, and investigate network homophily, network structure, and cross-scale linkages. Results show that ethnicity significantly influences social network structure and is responsible for a homophily effect, which can create challenges for stakeholder collaboration across groups. Our analysis also suggests that ethnicity influences the formation of diverse network structures, and can affect the level of linkages to outside industry leaders, government or management officials, and members of the scientific community. This study provides the first empirical examination of the impact of ethnic diversity on resource user’s social networks in the common-pool resource literature, having important implications for collaborative resource management.


Type of Publication: Journal Article