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Social differentiation in climate change adaptation: One community, multiple pathways in transitioning Kenyan pastoralism

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Climate change adaptation literature on pastoralists often embraces a systems approach that uses aggregate analysis, giving a false assumption of community homogeneity. It assumes that a pastoral community is a coherent unit, an assumption that does not adequately capture the increasingly differentiated adaptation pathways. Analyzing key adaptation practices among Maasai (agro-) pastoralists’ of Laikipia County, we outline how wealth, age and gender differentiate actors’ adaptation pathways. We argue that adaptation pathways are political processes highly negotiated by these elements of social differentiation and that individual actors adaptation opportunities are substantially shaped by their social positions. Additionally, we make the case for using adaptation practices as focal points for adaptation pathways research because this methodological choice allows unpacking who, why and how questions in the uptake of emerging technical adaptation practices, especially how they are influenced by individual social positions of wealth, age and gender.

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    Ng'ang’a, T.W.; Crane, T.A.




    climate change, gender, local community, pastoralism



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