Youth Resilience and Social Capital in a Disadvantaged Neighborhood: A Constructionist Interpretive Approach
- 1.4k Downloads
How resilience is conceptualized is central to resilience-building interventions. Informed by social constructionism and social capital theory, we explore the meaning of resilience for youth residing in a marginalized neighborhood in Canada’s largest metropolis. Data were gathered through separate focus groups held with male and female youth.
Participants shared viewpoints and experiences on what it means to grow up well (i.e., be/become resilient) in this neighbourhood and how they face challenges and try to keep healthy.
A constructionist interpretive lens supplemented by social capital theory informed key themes of participants’ perspectives and experience, including both conventional and distinctive understandings of resilience. On the one hand, attributes and common-sense strategies generally prevalent among adolescents were articulated, while on the other hand distinctive pathways of resilience in the context of disadvantage and marginality emerged.
Underscoring resilience as a phenomenon embedded in specific contexts and shaped by privilege and disadvantage, we argue for resources to support the resilience of marginalized youth.
KeywordsDisadvantage Marginalization Racialization Resilience Social constructionism Social capital Youth
- America’s Promise Alliance. (2014). Don’t call them dropouts. Understanding the experiences of young people who leave high school before graduation. Retrieved on May 20, 2014 from http://gradnation.americaspromise.org/report/dont-call-them-dropouts
- American Psychological Association. (n.d.). What is resilience? http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/road-resilience.aspx
- Andrews, T. (2012). What is social constructionism? Grounded Theory Review. An International Journal, 11(1). http://groundedtheoryreview.com/2012/06/01/what-is-social-constructionism/
- Bourdieu, P. (1986). Forms of capital. In J. C. Richards (Ed.), Handbook of theory and research for the sociology of education (pp. 241–258). New York, NY: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
- Galabuzi, G.-E. (2006). Canada’s economic apartheid: The social exclusion of racialized groups in the new century. Toronto, Canada: Canadian Scholars’ Press.Google Scholar
- Ginwright, S., Cammarota, J., & Noguera, P. (2005). Youth, social justice, and communities: Toward a theory of urban youth policy. Social Justice, 32(3), 24–40.Google Scholar
- Holland, J. (2008). Young people and social capital: What can it do for us? Families & Social Capital Research Group. London: London South Bank University. ISBN 978-0-946-786541. Retrieved on May 20, 2014 from http://www1.lsbu.ac.uk/ahs/downloads/families/familieswp24.pdf
- MacNevin, W. (2008). If I only knew…stories of teen moms. Toronto, Canada: Black Creek Community Health Centre.Google Scholar
- Narayan, D. (1999). Bonds and bridges: Social capital and poverty. Policy Research Working Paper 2167, The World Bank, Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network. https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/6522232.pdf
- Ostrom, E., & Ahn, T. K. (2003). Foundations of social capital. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing.Google Scholar
- Pagliaro, J. (2013, August 31). Jane and Finch: Toronto’s most dangerous place to be a kid? The Toronto Star. Retrieved April 21, 2014 https://www.thestar.com/news/crime/2013/08/31/jane_and_finch_torontos_most_dangerous_place_to_be_a_kid.html
- Quillian, L., & Redd, R. (2006). Can social capital explain persistent poverty gaps? National Poverty Center Working Paper Series, #2006-12. Retrieved on May 19, 2014 from http://www.npc.umich.edu/publications/working_papers/
- Rich, J., Corbin, T., Bloom, S., Rich, L., Evans, S., & Wilson, A. (2009). Healing the hurt: Trauma-informed approaches to the health of boys and young men of color. Philadelphia, PA: Centre for Nonviolence and Social Justice, Drexel University School of Public Health and Department of Emergency Medicine.Google Scholar
- Schwandt, T. A. (1994). Constructivist, interpretivist approaches to human inquiry. In N. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (pp. 118–137). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Social Policy Analysis and Research, City of Toronto. (2014). TSNS 2020 neighbourhood equity index: Methodological Documentation. Toronto: Author. http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2014/cd/bgrd/backgroundfile-67350.pdf
- Spencer, M. B., Harpalani, V., & Dell'Angelo, T. (2002). Structural racism and community health: A theory driven model for identity intervention. In W. R. Allen, M. B. Spencer, & C. O'Connor (Eds.), African American education: Race, community, inequality, and achievement a tribute to Edgar G. Epps, Advances in education in diverse communities: Research, policy and praxis (vol. 2, pp. 259–282). Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Staff Report for Action on the Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy 2020. (n.d.). Appendix B. Neighbourhoodequity scores for Toronto neighbourhoods and recommended neighbourhoodimprovement areas. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2014/cd/bgrd/backgroundfile-67351.pdf
- Statistics Canada. (2006). 2006 Census of population. Available: http://www12.statcan.ca/census-recensement/2006/index-eng.cfm
- Stone, W. (2003). Bonding, bridging and linking with social capital. Stronger Families Learning Exchange Bulletin, 4(1), 13–16.Google Scholar
- TeRiele, K. (Ed.). (2006). Making schools different: Alternative approaches to educating young people. London: Sage.Google Scholar
- Ungar, M. (2006). Nurturing hidden resilience in at-risk youth across cultures. Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 15(2), 53–58.Google Scholar
- Ungar, M. (2011). Community resilience for youth and families: Facilitative physical and social capital in contexts of adversity. Children and Youth Services Review. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2011.04.027