Indigenous Siberian Food Sharing Networks: Social Innovation in a Transforming Economy

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John Ziker – International Research Affiliate, Book Chapter

Ziker, John P. & Fulk, Karen S. “Indigenous Siberian Food Sharing Networks: Social Innovation in a Transforming Economy,” in Francesca Grippa, João Leitão, Julia Gluesing, Ken Riopelle & Peter Gloor, (Eds.) Collaborative Innovation Networks: Building Adaptive and Resilient Organizations Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, pp. 117-127. Published online 27 March 2018.


The sustainability of indigenous communities in the Arctic, and the vulnerable households within, is in large part dependent on their continuing food security. A social food-sharing network within the Ust’-Avam community on the Taimyr Peninsula in northern Siberia is analyzed for underlying patterns of resilience and key evolutionarily stable strategies supporting cooperative behavior. Factors influencing the network include interhousehold relatedness, reciprocal sharing, and interaction effects. Social association also influences sharing. Evidence for multiple determinants of food sharing in this sample is discussed in reference to major evolutionary hypotheses and comparable studies. In sum, the findings illustrate the robustness of self-organizing distribution networks in an economic context of uncertainty.

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