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Questioning resilience

November 16, 2011

An article I just read on resilience (Theron et al.) made clear certain paths into analysing resilience. And they ought to apply to analysis of a fictional text as well…

Firstly, the authors explain that “Each researcher scrutinized the data for known resilience-promoting resources found in youth themselves (like perseverance or a sense of humor) and within their ecological systems (like supportive family, health-promoting schools, accessible social workers, or enabling cultural practices). Simultaneously, the researchers were sensitive to resilience-promoting resources unique to each data set (such as a meaningful pastime shared by local youth in one site or unifying family outings in another). Furthermore, the youths themselves were interviewed as to their perspectives on selected issues arising from emerging interpretations. Consensus discussions (virtual and in real time) followed this individual meaning making.” (806)

The authors also note that common to both the cultural contexts in which they did their study “is the protective power of traditional cultural conventions as operationalized in practices, relationships, and beliefs. Four protective themes emerged: relatedness, a culture of sharing, religious affiliation, and mother tongue. In all instances, these traditional conventions were facilitated by adults who passed along cultural practices and youth who enacted these (adults as cultural facilitators, children as willing cofacilitators).” (807)


Ref: Linda Theron et al. (2011) ‘A “Day in the Lives” of Four Resilient Youths: Cultural Roots of Resilience’ Youth & Society 43(3) 799 –818


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