Towards a cultural lens for adaptation pathways to climate change

Danny Marks, Mucahid Mustafa Bayrak, Selim Jahangir, David Henig, Ajay Bailey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


Adaptation pathways have been conventionally viewed as an approach for planning and identifying different adaptation options and the ways in which they can be realized. However, there has been scant consideration of the wide diversity of cultural and social processes which shape how adaptation pathways emerge. We argue that a cultural lens sheds light on differential vulnerability and the processes that enable or hinder adaptation. A cultural lens focuses intrinsically on intersectional categories which can impact the adaptive agency or resilience of individuals, households, and communities. In particular, we need to examine how cultural beliefs, norms, and practices change over time, and are reflected in adaptation pathways since livelihoods do not remain the same over the life course. Additionally, taking a broader perspective by incorporating concepts from cognitive anthropology helps us understand motivations and choices which influence adaptation pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Article number22
JournalRegional Environmental Change
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Mar


  • Adaptation pathways
  • Climate change
  • Cultural beliefs and values
  • Life course
  • Livelihoods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change


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