© Society for Human Ecology

Published in Human Ecology Review, Vol. 19 No. 2 (2012).


Recent decades have seen an evolution in thinking on the sustainability of forest-dependent communities from community stability to community resilience, which seeks to enhance communities’ ability to respond to drivers of change in ways that sustain the multiple dimensions of well-being. However, the process of community response to drivers of change is not well understood and methods for assessing community resilience are not fully developed. This paper proposes a theoretical model to understand the structures and processes influencing the adaptation of communities and households to drivers of change and which can serve as a guide to the development of indicators for assessing resilience across multiple scales. The model synthesizes the interactional community theory from rural sociology and the theory of resilience in social-ecological systems from the field of applied ecology. The implications of the model for theory and methods are discussed.