Centering at the Margins: Critical Community Resilience Praxis


Aims: This article aims to reframe resilience for use in community research and action in conditions of adversity marked by increasing natural disasters and by social inequities rooted in the coloniality of power, such as in Chile. Method: We review international resilience literature that explores responses to complex adversities, evaluating three “waves” of resilience research, including (1) “bouncing back,” which frames resilience as protecting functioning; (2) “bouncing forward,” understanding resilience as adaptation; and (3) what we are calling, the “centering at the margins” wave, which explicitly incorporates liberation psychology and decolonial, critical race theories to the study and promotion of resilience. Results: Building off “third wave” thinking, this article attempts to improve the social justice ethics within which research on resilience is completed by introducing a critical community resilience praxis. Conclusions: Critical community resilience praxis can aid the study of resilience by illuminating ways to avoid the reinforcement of social hierarchies and interlocking systems of oppression relevant to the work of disaster risk reduction investigators, psychologists, and differently positioned stakeholders engaged in resilience research and practice in complex settings internationally marked by histories of colonialism, consequences of climate change, and continual social inequities.


resilience, social inequities, decolonial critical praxis, intersectionality, disasters


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