Hazard Perception and Community Change: Cultural Factors in Puna, Hawaii

August 1994 (VOL. 12, NO. 2)

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The interpretation of what is hazardous in the natural or technological environment is grounded in the social organization of the community potentially affected. During the 1980s, the semi-rural ethnically diverse district of Puna, Hawaii, has experienced rapid suburbanization, and the preliminary and highly controversial establishment of geothermal development has been defined by Puna residents, and focuses especially on cultural variation and the changing political economy. The geothermal conflict is seen to be the source of new community cohesion in an ethnically plural region.