This research applied the social network approach to unveil the social structure underlying the members of two traditional irrigation systems (TISs) in Sonora. This research used two TIS case studies representing rural communities located in arid and semiarid lands in the Sonoran Desert region, in the northwestern part of Mexico. The irrigators represented a subset of rural villages where everyone knew everyone else. The theoretical framework in this study suggested that social embeddedness of the economic activities of TIS irrigators is an important factor supporting their local institutions. Irrigators who are socially embedded posses more social capital that help them in overcoming social dilemmas. Evidence of social embeddedness is theoretically incomplete when not related to a tangible dimension of the TIS’s performance. This research also dealt with the difficulty of assessing the sustainability or successfulness of a TIS. The results showed that the irrigators sharing a rural village are entangled in a mesh of social ties developed in different social settings. The most salient variable was family; cooperative ties within the irrigation system tend to overlap more than the expected by chance with kinship relationships. Likewise, irrigators had a strong preference for peers geographically close or those within the same irrigation subsector. Finally, the qualitative part of the study did not reveal the presence of severe social dilemmas. Irrigators in each community have developed successful forms of local arrangements to overcome the provision and appropriation issues typical of common pool resources. Nevertheless, the qualitative analysis revealed that there are other socioeconomic variables undermining the sustainability of the systems, such as migration, water shortages and social capacity of the systems.
Keywords: traditional irrigation systems, Sonora, common pool resources, social networks, social capital, social dilemmas, ERGM
|Advisor:||Steiguer, J. Ed. de|
|Commitee:||Fish, Suzanne K., Hutchinson, Charles, Marsh, Stuart, Miller, Marc|
|School:||The University of Arizona|
|Department:||Arid Lands Resource Sciences|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 73/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Agriculture, Environmental Studies, Agricultural economics, Social structure|
|Keywords:||Common pool resources, ERGM, Irrigation, Mexico, Social capital, Social networks, Sonora|
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