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Social ecology of resilience and Sumud of Palestinians

Marie, Mohammad, Jones, Aled ORCID: and Hannigan, Ben ORCID: 2018. Social ecology of resilience and Sumud of Palestinians. Health 22 (1) , pp. 20-25. 10.1177/1363459316677624

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The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of theoretical perspectives and practical research knowledge in relation to ‘resilience’, the resilience of Palestinians in particular, and the related concept of ‘Sumud’. ‘Sumud’ is a Palestinian idea that is interwoven with ideas of personal and collective resilience and steadfastness. It is also a socio-political concept and refers to ways of surviving in the context of occupation, chronic adversity, lack of resources and limited infrastructure. The concept of ‘resilience’ has deep roots, going back at least to the 10th century when Arabic scholars suggested strategies to cope with life adversity. In Europe, research into resilience extends back to the 1800s. The understanding of resilience has developed over four overlapping waves. These focus on: individual traits; protective factors; ecological assets; and (in the current wave) social ecological factors. The current wave of resilience research focuses on the contribution of cultural contextualisation and is an approach that is discussed in this paper, which draws on Arabic and English language literature located through a search of multiple databases (CINAHL, British Nursing Index, ASSIA, Medline, PsycINFO, and EMBASE). Findings suggest that ‘Sumud’ is linked to the surrounding cultural context and can be thought of as an innovative, social ecological, approach to promoting resilience. We show that resilience is a prerequisite to ‘Sumud’, meaning that the individual has to be resilient in order to stay and not to leave their place,position or community. We close by pressing the case for studies which investigate resilience especially in underdeveloped countries such as Palestine, and which reveal how resilience is embedded in pre-existing cultural contexts.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: cultural context, Palestine, resilience, social ecology, Sumud
Publisher: Sage
ISSN: 1363-4593
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 September 2016
Date of Acceptance: 24 August 2016
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 20:51

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