Resilience, Hardship and Social Conditions

Hulya Dagdeviren, Matthew Donoghue, Markus Promberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)
106 Downloads (Pure)


This paper provides a critical assessment of the term ‘resilience’ – and its highly agent-centric conceptualisation – when applied to how individuals and households respond to hardship. We provide an argument for social conditions to be embedded into the framework of resilience analysis. Drawing on two different perspectives in social theory, namely the structure-agent nexus and path dependency, we aim to demonstrate that the concept of resilience, if understood in isolation from the social conditions within which it may or may not arise, can result in a number of problems. This includes misidentification of resilience, ideological exploitation of the term and inability to explain intermittence in resilience.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Social Policy
Issue number1
Early online date21 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • resilience, poverty, hardship, social conditions, structure, agency, path dependence


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