“Who do they think they are?”: social identity & conflict in small rural community

Article


Ham, Saleena and Woolcock, Geoffrey. 2022. "“Who do they think they are?”: social identity & conflict in small rural community." Rural Society: the journal of research into rural and regional social issues in Australia. 31 (1), pp. 33-48. https://doi.org/10.1080/10371656.2022.2061723
Article Title

“Who do they think they are?”: social identity & conflict in small rural community

ERA Journal ID22045
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsHam, Saleena and Woolcock, Geoffrey
Journal TitleRural Society: the journal of research into rural and regional social issues in Australia
Journal Citation31 (1), pp. 33-48
Number of Pages16
Year2022
PublisherRoutledge
Place of PublicationAustralia
ISSN1037-1656
2204-0536
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/10371656.2022.2061723
Web Address (URL)https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10371656.2022.2061723
Abstract

Building resilience in small communities has increasingly become an aspirational objective to help adapt to challenging economic and social change. Communities with identified resilience traits are seen to be better equipped to survive and thrive in adversity. Resilience relies on embracing change and social cohesion. However, the divide between social groups of “insiders” and “outsiders” in small communities can divide and suppress resident contributions and participation. This qualitative research in two small South Queensland, Australian towns, population under 2000, interviewed 89 residents using social identity theory and discourse analysis to analyse data. It found social identity phenomena-motivated antisocial behaviours including withheld support, exclusion, derision, criticism, shame/blame gossip, and attack, directly and indirectly. In the research communities, witnessing or experiencing social hostility created hesitation to lead, speak, participate, or innovate without social support, and led to withdrawal, burnout, and departure.

Keywordscommunity conflict; rural community; Social identity
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020441003. Rural sociology
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Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Southern Queensland
Rural Economies Centre of Excellence (Research)
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