Social networks and farming resilience

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The resilience of food systems, including agricultural systems, has become a high profile issue in the face multiple disease, environmental and social challenges. Much of agriculture takes place in remote locations where social networks, or connections between individual actors, have been implicated in increasing resilience. We examine a case study of Orkney, Scotland, a remote rural location, using interviews and Social Network Analysis. This case study provides evidence indicative of resilient patterns of social networks, emphasising the importance of schools, transport links and livestock markets in creating and maintaining these networks. These domains are rarely included in agricultural policy, highlighting the need for wider framing of questions. Our research suggests Social Network Analysis is a fruitful avenue for investigating resilience of agricultural systems that can identify hitherto hidden elements.
Original languageEnglish
JournalOutlook on Agriculture
Early online date12 Jan 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Jan 2021


  • food security
  • Orkney
  • agricultural system
  • aocial network analysis
  • system resilience


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