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Relational Resilience

  • Colette Daiute
Chapter

Abstract

In this chapter, I argue that resilience is a social relational process, like human development itself. To build this argument, I review scholarly definitions of resilience among young people displaced by war and other forms of political violence. I then offer an analysis of the separations young people endure and the attendant losses and gains associated with resilience. The chapter focuses on a variety of social relations identified in research, indicating that children’s cognitive and emotional responses emerge in language and other symbolic interactions with family, community, and nation as they make sense of the world around them and how they fit. I illustrate this process with examples from my research with young people growing up during and after the wars of the 1990s in the former Yugoslavia (Human development and political violence 2010) and discuss how the study design and analyses advance theory, research, and practice during and after conflict-related displacement. The conclusion of this inquiry is that research from diverse theoretical perspectives behooves us to examine resilience as a relational process situated in specific circumstances, rather than primarily as a quality of individual character. Ongoing research based on such understandings can, moreover, have implications for practice and policy.

In high school, American kids would always pick on Bosnians telling that we get everything for free from government, we don’t pay taxes. They thought that they are right and that they know everything. I tried to explain the way it is, but they wouldn’t listen (21-year-old Bosnian refugee to the USA).

Keywords

Young People Political Violence Child Soldier Refugee Status Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Graduate Center, City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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