Fishing in the Amazonian Forest: A Gendered Social Network Puzzle

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


We employ social network analysis (SNA) to describe the structure of subsistence fishing social networks and to explore the relation between fishers’ emic perceptions of fishing expertise and their position in networks. Participant observation and quantitative methods were employed among the Tsimane’ Amerindians of the Bolivian Amazon. A multiple-regression quadratic assignment procedure was used to explore the extent to which gender, kinship, and age homophilies influence the formation of fishing networks. Logistic regressions were performed to determine the association between fishers’ expertise, their sociodemographic identities, and network centrality. We found that fishing networks are gendered and that there is a positive association between fishers’ expertise and centrality in networks, an association that is more striking for women than for men. We propose that a social network perspective broadens understanding of the relations that shape the intracultural distribution of fishing expertise, as well as natural resource access and use.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSociety and Natural Resources
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)690-706
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 03.06.2017
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Fishing expertise, gender relations, perceptions, social network analysis, social status, Tsimane’ Amerindians
  • Biology
  • Ecosystems Research