This paper explores the impact of environmental disruptions on traditional livelihood practices in subsistence communities. Our research was conducted in a South Indian fishing community, which has faced several environmental disruptions over the last two decades. Our findings illustrate how environmental disruptions threaten livelihood security and bring into question the legitimacy of traditional livelihood practices. In the face of livelihood insecurity, the community legitimizes adaptations to traditional livelihood practices to reestablish livelihood security. We find evidence of three types of adaptations to traditional livelihood practices: (1) blending traditional livelihood practices with non-traditional livelihood practices, (2) expanding beyond the domain of traditional livelihood practices, and (3) altering the knowledge base underlying livelihood practices. Our findings also illustrate how various types of legitimacy push against each other during the change process and how the community resolves these tensions.
- Environmental disruptions
- Traditional livelihood practices