Throughout the United States many rural areas face challenges to economic sustainability. Community currency attempts to confront these challenges by ensuring that wealth and resources are maintained within a region. The specific research question investigated in this article is, “Why do individuals participate in community currency movements and does that participation actually promote economic sustainability?” Social identity theory, social exchange theory and the concept of social capital guided the analysis for participation in the Humboldt Exchange. Key informant interviews and the Humboldt Exchange Survey 2008 were methods used to answer the research question. Survey data reveals that 44% of the Humboldt State University is aware of community currency, while 80% are unaware of the Exchange. Qualitative findings propose that individuals participate in the Humboldt Exchange because they have goods and services to exchange with others, whom they identify with, because doing so ensures that a certain amount of wealth and resources are maintained locally. However, as survey data shows, lack of awareness of the Humboldt Exchange essentially prohibits any form of economic sustainability, since this sustainability is only possible through considerable participation in the Exchange.
Natalie Terese Soder Volume 12(2008) A24-52
To cite this article: Soder, N.T. (2008) ‘Community Currency: An Approach To Economic Sustainability In Our Local Bioregion’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 12 24-52 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2008.004