A flawed construct? Understanding and unpicking the concept of resilience in the context of economic hardship

HICKMAN, Paul (2017). A flawed construct? Understanding and unpicking the concept of resilience in the context of economic hardship. Social Policy and Society, 1-16.

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Link to published version:: 10.1017/S1474746417000227

Abstract

Increasingly, the construct of resilience has been used by social scientists and (social) policy makers in relation to individual resilience to economic hardship. There are a number of issues within the literature on the subject that are unresolved including: whether it is an attribute or a process; the extent to which resilience is a positive phenomenon; the extent to which individuals living in economic hardship have agency; and, whether it is finite. The article unpacks these issues, drawing on qualitative data from a longitudinal study in Northern Ireland. It found resilience to be a negative experience for study participants, although they did exhibit a number of attributes that may be described as being positive. They were often unable to exercise 'positive', transformative agency, because the choices available were limited and pernicious in nature. The paper concludes that as an analytical tool for exploring the experiences of people living in economic hardship the construct of resilience is not helpful.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research
Identification Number: 10.1017/S1474746417000227
Depositing User: Paul Hickman
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2017 12:49
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2017 21:18
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/15790

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