Sense of community: community resilient responses to oppression and change

Sonn, Christopher and Fisher, Adrian (1998) Sense of community: community resilient responses to oppression and change. Journal of Community Psychology, 26 (5). pp. 457-472.


Resilience refers to the positive ways in which people respond to adversity and stressful life events. Much of the research and writing in resilience has focussed on how children respond to adversity. Community resilience, however, represents an extension of this focus. Often oppressed communities are represented as lacking in resilience and competence. Models that characterize group responses to inter-group and intercultural contact often simplify the responses of communities. Drawing on these concepts it is argued that oppressed groups do not always capitulate or assimilate to oppressive systems, but in alternative forums and settings these groups find ways to resist oppression and experience a sense of community. In settings such as church groups, sporting clubs, extended family networks and other organizations groups find ways to protect and propagate what is valued and central for their survival. This has implications for how we interpret and understand the ways in which groups adapt to oppressive and changed contexts and alerts us to the dangers in under-emphasising and overlooking the positive functions of alternative settings.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1002/(SICI)1520-6629(199809)26:5<457::AID-JCOP5>3.0.CO;2-O
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Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Historical > RFCD Classification > 370000 Studies in Human Society
Keywords resilience, community resilience, sense of community, oppression, alternative settings
Citations in Scopus 177 - View on Scopus
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