School of Law

Research Student: Andrea Tara-Chand

Sustainable Community Resilience. An exploration of the role of social networks in generating transformation

At a time of increasing anxiety about global insecurity and risk it is not surprising that we might question how the impact of global events are governed/managed locally.

This research explore the role of social networks in supporting their members to be resilient to external threats, in this case to the label of UK Muslims as the ‘new suspect community’. The concept of ‘adaptive community resilience’ may be helpful here - it stretches the concept of resilience to incorporate the idea of groups adapting over time to on-going adversity. The research explores the role of civil society networks and associations in containing, managing and transforming adversity by supporting community members to adapt to a changing world. Using an ethnographic approach the research seeks to understand the social construction of resilience, questioning how social capital is created and given meaning in a place-based UK Muslim community.

The research breaks with traditional approaches to community resilience which often study ‘recovery’ or ‘survival’ following a disaster to focus on the resilience of a discrete group to on-going adversity. The collective history of adversity experienced by South Asian Muslims is viewed through a ‘post-colonial’ lens.

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