Abstract: Interpretive Repertoires from a Marginalized Perspective on Resilience: Towards a Culturally Responsive Fifth Wave of the Construct (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

All in-person and virtual presentations are in Mountain Standard Time Zone (MST).

SSWR 2023 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Phoenix A/B, 3rd floor. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 9. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

463P Interpretive Repertoires from a Marginalized Perspective on Resilience: Towards a Culturally Responsive Fifth Wave of the Construct

Saturday, January 14, 2023
Phoenix C, 3rd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
* noted as presenting author
Ashley N. Prowell, PhD, LCSW, Assistant Professor, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD
Background and Purpose: While the general consensus on what it means to be resilient has expanded over time, our conceptualizations of the concept continue to be largely understood from a mainstream, homogeneous perspective. Underlying assumptions regarding this perspective are that: a) resilience holds the same meaning for all; and b) marginalized youth possess a sort of “ordinary magic” they utilize in persevering through historical and contextual constraints. Methods: Derived from the data of a phenomenological study that seeks to emphasize the unique experiences of a marginalized population in the analysis of African American individuals from low-income backgrounds and their resilience processes, the current study explores how African Americans frame their lived experience with resilience within the context of childhood adversity due to race and social class. Results: Findings identify seven interpretive repertoires in which participants used to frame their lived experience with resilience, underscoring institutional and structural inequalities as a key factor in making their experience unique. From most salient to least salient, these themes are representations of verbal patterns that include the following phrases: 1) “I am stronger because...”; 2) “They don’t understand”; 3) “I’m not just doing this for me”; 4) I can’t become a statistic”; 5) “Education is going to get you out of there”; 6) “Who said I can’t?”; and 7) “Black people have to be better than...”. Conclusions and Implications: Because much of the contemporary construction on what it means to be resilient is informed by normative ideals for success, this makes resilience somewhat of an ideological code for reinforcing social norms. Such implicit codes may function independent of conscious intention for those – like social workers – who seek to ameliorate marginalization and its effects. There remains theoretical space in the resilience literature for a more nuanced understanding of what it means to be resilient for which this study aimed to address. This timely work on capturing and normalizing the African American experience within a crucial aspect of social work practice may add greatly to the literature. For the social work profession overall, it may lead to more intentional, efficient, and effective practices as it relates to helping people bounce back from adversity, which may in turn, lead to more favorable outcomes for socially and economically disadvantaged children and families.