Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2381/37949
Title: Coastal Community Resilience: Disjuncture, Anxiety and the Change Capacity
Authors: Brown, Victoria Jane
Supervisors: Phillips, Martin
Coles, Benjamin
Award date: 1-Jul-2016
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: Resilience has become a mainstay of climate change literature however it has long been interpreted to strengthen, support and perpetuate business as usual practices and beliefs; bouncing back to ‘normal’. Moreover climate change narratives largely ignore the necessary changes required of countries such as the UK. These changes are not restricted solely to transitioning to low carbon economies, transportation systems and home-life, but relate to attitudes about the land beneath out feet. In the UK focus is most frequently directed towards flooding and although this is and remains a grave concern it is not the only problem. With increasing frequency and magnitude of storms and intensifying rainfall alongside sea level rise, it is not only lowland areas being affected but cliffed coastlines subject to accelerated and augmented erosion. These effects are especially noticeable along the eastern coast of England which is composed largely of glacial moraines, clays, silts and sands. I have focused here on two cliff-top communities in North Norfolk to explore how the communities affected respond and cope, or not, with the changes. Bounce forward resilience shows its usefulness here by including these human aspects and recognising that it is not always possible to ‘bounce back’, nor should you as the ‘business as usual’ option may restrict ability to change. Through open interviews, reflective personal notebooks and interactive focus groups issues of disjuncture between control and fix-it tendencies and other social ideals, and the changes occurring are revealed. A triangular framework was employed to assess the extent of lock-in to particular practices and ways of living through open interviews, to explore participant emotional reactions using reflective personal notebooks, and finally undertaking focus groups to investigate capacity for change. Emotional dissonance is evident in witnessing the jarring disappearance of not just houses and landmarks but common understandings, and endeavours to maintain stability, continuity and reassert ‘the norm’. This research further reveals the creation of spaces of anxiety out of fear of future risk and compound effects leading to blight both economic and emotional. Thirdly capacity for change is discovered to be crucial in thinking beyond the normal historically accepted attitudes and behaviours, and depends largely on how ready people are to accept change and through social endeavours and community spirit make good a bad situation. The extant issues in North Norfolk represent a larger picture of loss and change around the world, with the possibility for survival through innovation and change.
Links: http://hdl.handle.net/2381/37949
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, Dept. of Geography
Leicester Theses

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