Getting to 'We': Examining the Relationship between Geographic Scale and Ingroup Emergence in Collaborative Watershed Planning
Human Ecology Review
Society for Human Ecology
We examine the relationship between geographic scale and the emergence and transformation of “ingroup” effects using data from a qualitative comparative case study of two collaborative watershed planning efforts in Oregon . Evidence of ingroup effects is far stronger in the small watershed planning group where stakeholder perceptions of and patterns of interactions with one another centered on common group identifications. In the large-scale planning group, stakeholders perceive and interact with one another based on organizational affiliation. Furthermore, the geographic scale of the watershed planning process influences how watershed issues are framed. In the small-scale watershed group, watershed issues are framed as a direct relationship between watershed health and community well-being. As a result, stakeholders began to view themselves as members of a shared community, a new ingroup. In the large-scale watershed group, watershed issues are framed in terms of regional conservation efforts, with no direct link between watershed health and community well-being. As a result, community stakeholders view organizational representatives as belonging to a different, opposing group. Our examination suggests that the relationship between geographic scale and ingroup effects can contribute to mutually acceptable outcomes among stakeholders. As such, the geographic scale at which collaborative resource planning efforts occur merits attention.
Cheng A.S. and S.E. Daniels. 2005. Getting to 'We': examining the relationship between geographic scale and ingroup emergence in collaborative watershed planning. Human Ecology Review, 12(1):30-43.