Social learning through rural communities of practice: Empirical evidence from farming households in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta

Thong Tran, Helen James, James Pittock

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    The social-ecological systems of the Vietnamese Mekong Delta (VMD) are under stress driven by accelerating impacts of climate change, upstream hydropower development, and local flood management policies. These combined complexities have prompted the rural societies to make significant efforts to adapt to changing conditions. While local adaptation represents diverse patterns of communication and interactions across the social sectors, far less attention has been given to how these learning processes occur in the rural communities of practice. This paper attempts to delineate the learning dynamics in which farming households are key practitioners. The mixed methods approach that guides data collection includes focus group discussions, indepth interviews with key informants and household surveys. The analysis suggests that social learning plays a significant role in facilitating the adoption and dissemination of experiential and experimental knowledge across geographical boundaries. This study highlights important aspects of households' social learning system characterized by informal networks with various forms of bonding and bridging relationships. These learning patterns suggest that informal communication is a dominant learning approach in the rural delta. This study contributes to advancing the theoretical and empirical knowledge of social learning and its policy implications for rural development in the VMD.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)31-44pp
    JournalLearning, Culture and Social Interaction
    Volume16
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

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