Title

Social responses to industrialisation of rural landscapes, with a case study of unconventional gas developments in eastern Australia

Document Type

Presentation

Publication details

Luke, H 2015, 'Social responses to industrialisation of rural landscapes, with a case study of unconventional gas developments in eastern Australia', paper presented to The XXVI European Society for Rural Sociology Congress: Places of Possibility? Rural Societies in a Neoliberal World, Aberdeen, Scotland, 18-21 August.

Abstract available from:

http://www.esrs2015.eu/sites/www.esrs2015.eu/files/bookofabstracts_13Aug(1).pdf

Abstract

Competing demands upon the provision of natural resources to meet the needs of current and future generations are highlighted by the global expansion of the unconventional oil and gas industry. This rapid growth has provoked research not only in the physical sciences relating to hydro-geological impacts and fugitive emissions of the extraction process (including fracking), but also into multidisciplinary projects such as risk perception and assessment, competing land-use and social dynamics. This study contributes empirical data to the fast growing body of research into unconventional gas industry developments by examining impacts upon social systems, from an individual to a regional scale in eastern Australia. Taking a mixed-methods approach, and using a framework that incorporates social license, social identity and democracy, this study examines the dynamics occurring within and between different stakeholder groups and individuals in affected communities; documenting social responses to industrial developments over a four-year period. The research provides an in-depth analysis of background and motivating factors behind support and nonsupport of unconventional gas industry developments in rural Australia, including community aspirations for economic prosperity versus environmental concerns and aspirations for renewable energy development.