cover image: How Useful is the Concept of Resilience for Studying Individuals


How Useful is the Concept of Resilience for Studying Individuals

31 Jan 2024

Specifically, the third section looks at what the concepts of vulnerability, resourcefulness and sustainability bring to the fore that might help overcome some of the weaknesses of the resilience concept for the analysis of social and family-related processes and outcomes. [...] The third element is the outcome and the main question fielded here is: What is the unit’s capacity to withstand shock and what is a stable state? In a quest for more elaborated thinking to the rather simple durability focus, researchers distinguish between resistance and ‘bounce back’, taking the former to refer to the ability of a system to block disruptive changes and remain relatively undistur. [...] ‘Outcome’ as part of the resilience process has been the subject of considerable critique, especially regarding the privileging of adaptation in the framework (Mu 2020) and the relative under-appreciation of the difference between, first, adaptation and transformation and, second, different forms of transformation, such as between transformation for the persistence of the system and transformation. [...] They describe resourcefulness as process- and relations-oriented and they develop it especially with communities as the units of analysis.1 They start from a recognition of the uneven distribution of material resources and the associated difficulties of ‘disadvantaged’ groups and communities to access the levers of social change. [...] While the foregoing discussion has introduced complexity to temporal patterning in the form of the unfolding of events, circumstances and experiences in people’s situation over time and of circumstance or condition as shaped by a cumulation or clustering of factors and events, it has also tended to reinforce the idea of discrete stages and a bounded structure/agency process.


Holly Shorey

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