What lies beyond social capital? the role of social psychology in building community resilience to climate change

Journal article


Ntontis, E., Drury, J., Amlôt, E., Rubin, G. and Williams, R. 2019. What lies beyond social capital? the role of social psychology in building community resilience to climate change. Traumatology. https://doi.org/10.1037/trm0000221
AuthorsNtontis, E., Drury, J., Amlôt, E., Rubin, G. and Williams, R.
Abstract

Climate change is increasing the prevalence and impact of extreme events, which may have severe psychosocial after-effects for the people and communities who are affected. To mitigate their impact, governments advocate developing community resilience. Most approaches to community resilience employ the concept of social capital, suggesting that communities with more dense pre-existing networks of trust and reciprocity are more likely to prepare for, respond to, and recover more effectively from disasters.

Notwithstanding its benefits, we argue that social capital cannot account for microprocesses of disaster behaviour such as groups that emerge in absence of any pre-existing ties and provide social support. We propose a new conceptualisation of aspects of community resilience based on the social identity approach in social psychology and grounded upon the principles of collective psychosocial resilience – the way that shared identification allows groups to emerge, coordinate, express solidarity and provide social support. We argue that our approach overcomes the limitations of social capital, because it can explain the processes of group behaviour in disasters, acknowledges people’s propensity to organise collectively, promotes bottom-up approaches to community resilience, recognises emergent communities, and suggests evidence-based recommendations for policy and practice.

Finally, we propose an agenda for future research.

KeywordsCommunity resilience; social capital; climate change; social identity; group behaviour
Year2019
JournalTraumatology
PublisherAPA
ISSN1534-7656
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1037/trm0000221
Related URLhttps://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/trm/
Publication process dates
Deposited29 Aug 2019
Accepted28 Aug 2019
Accepted author manuscript
Output statusIn press
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/890v0/what-lies-beyond-social-capital-the-role-of-social-psychology-in-building-community-resilience-to-climate-change

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