Information Networks in Amenity Transition Communities: A Comparative Case Study
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- Smith, J.W. Hum Ecol (2013) 41: 885. doi:10.1007/s10745-013-9595-7
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Amenity transition, a major socio demographic trend in areas rich in natural resources, is characterized by economic and population growth as a result of retirement in-migration, increased rates of second home ownership, and increases in the number of industries that do not need to be proximate to a specific geographic location. Amenity transition is also characterized by increased intra-community conflict between long-term residents and in-migrants. This research analyzes whether the population growth accompanying amenity transition is associated with variations in the structure and characteristics of intra-community informational networks, as sociological theory would suggest. Methodologically, this is accomplished through a comparative analysis of the structure and characteristics of informational networks in three communities undergoing amenity transition. The analyses suggest population density is not related to either the structure of informational networks or the concentration of trust/distrust within them. When considered in conjunction with previous empirical work, these findings suggest the conflicts associated with amenity transition are more likely to arise because of conflicting value systems and ideologies as opposed to social structural changes in the communities themselves.