Rancher perceptions of and attitudes toward Mexican gray wolves: An exploration of community dialogue

Kaycie M. Waters, Matthew M. Mars

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Many socio-political issues arise when predators, like the endangered Mexican gray wolf, are reintroduced into areas that are concurrently used by ranchers. There is a gap in understanding of how public dialogue convey and perpetuate the perceptions and attitudes agriculturalists hold toward predator reintroduction efforts. Our study explores how ranchers’ use of social media and interactive communication relate to this topic. Our analysis is guided by the following three theoretical elements of online communities: intellectual, social, and cultural. A qualitative design is used to explore the dialogue that conveys and perpetuates ranchers’ perceptions and attitudes to the wolf reintroduction. The cultural element-type tends to have the most influence on how information is received via online communities. This creates a cultural echo chamber, where the expression of outside views leads to defensive discussion that strengthens the culture of the community rather than foster its evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalHuman Dimensions of Wildlife
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Mexican gray wolf
  • online communities
  • ranchers
  • social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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