Resilience and Communication (or Not)

The May 10, 2013 Chronicle Review’s cover story is titled: Resilience: An Idea Takes Root. Authors¬† discuss post-catastrophic recuperation from various interdisciplinary perspectives. Whether from acts of nature, of the market, war, or terrorism scholars are labeling this new area Resilience Studies which includes “the ability to prepare and plan for, absorb, recover from, and more successfully adapt to events” (as defined by the National Academy of Sciences last year). In addition to several articles on the topic in this issue, the Review features a bibliography of recent books on the topic which I am posting in this blog for two reasons. One, maybe it’s an interesting list of books to check out, and two, what’s missing is a book on the topic from a communication perspective. And there is work in the areas of crisis and disaster communication.¬† If anyone would like to nominate a title from our field that should have been included feel free to tweet me (and I will append/retweet). Given that this is a hot area with established programs at Ohio State University (Center for Resilience) and research groups such as the Resilience Alliance, the Stockholm Resilience Centre and resilience programs at agencies like the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the World Economic Forum (cyber resilience) and the Rockefeller Foundation (climate resilience), these are discourse and policy spaces more communication scholars might want to be wading into (to use a tsunami/flood metaphor).

Selected Works on Resilience, 2001-12

Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges, by Steven M. Southwick and Dennis S. Charney (Cambridge University Press)
Resilience Practice: Building Capacity to Absorb Disturbance and Maintain Function, by Brian Walker and David Salt (Island Press)
Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back, by Andrew Zolli and Ann Marie Healy (Free Press)
“Resilience: Thoughts on the Value of the Concept for Critical Gerontology,” by Kirsty Wild, Janine L. Wiles, and Ruth E.S. Allen (Ageing & Society)
Resilience and Mental Health: Challenges Across the Lifespan, edited by Steven M. Southwick, Brett T. Litz, Dennis S. Charney, Matthew J. Friedman (Cambridge University Press)
“Whatever Does Not Kill Us: Cumulative Lifetime Adversity, Vulnerability, and Resilience,” by Mark D. Seery, E. Alison Holman, and Roxane Cohen Silver (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology)
“Weighing the Costs of Disaster: Consequences, Risks, and Resilience in Individuals, Families, and Communities,” by George A. Bonanno, Chris R. Brewin, Krzysztof Kaniasty, and Annette M. La Greca (Psychological Science in the Public Interest)
Foundations of Ecological Resilience, edited by Lance H. Gunderson, Craig R. Allen, and C.S. Holling (Island Press)
“Disaster Preparation and Recovery: Lessons From Research on Resilience in Human Development,” by Ann S. Masten and Jelena Obradovic (Ecology and Sociology)
“Community Resilience as a Metaphor, Theory, Set of Capacities, and Strategy for Disaster Readiness,” by Fran H. Norris, Susan P. Stevens, Betty Pfefferbaum, Karen F. Wyche, and Rose L. Pfefferbaum (American Journal of Community Psychology)
Thinking in Systems: A Primer, by Donella H. Meadows (Chelsea Green)
Resilience Thinking: Sustaining Ecosystems and People in a Changing World, by Brian Walker and David Salt (Island Press)
The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization, by Thomas Homer-Dixon (Island Press)
Resilience Engineering: Concepts and Precepts, edited by Erik Hollnagel, David D. Woods, and Nancy Leveson (Ashgate Publishing)
“Loss, Trauma and Human Resilience: Have We Underestimated the Human Capacity to Thrive after Extremely Aversive Events?” by George A. Bonanno (American Psychologist)
Panarchy: Understanding Transformations in Human and Natural Systems, edited by Lance H. Gunderson and C.S. Holling (Island Press)
“Ordinary Magic: Resilience Processes in Development,” by Ann S. Masten (American Psychologist)

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