The Nature of Collective Resilience: Survivor Reactions to the 2005 London Bombings

Drury, John, Cocking, Chris and Reicher, Steve (2009) The Nature of Collective Resilience: Survivor Reactions to the 2005 London Bombings. International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, 27 (1). pp. 66-95. ISSN 0280-7270

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Abstract

Accounts from over 90 survivors and 56 witnesses of the 2005 London bombings were analysed to determine the relative prevalence of mass behaviors associated with either psychosocial vulnerability (e.g. `selfishness, mass panic) or collective resilience (e.g. help, unity). `Selfish behaviors were found to be rare; mutual helping was more common. There is evidence for (a) a perceived continued danger of death after the explosions; (b) a sense of unity amongst at least some survivors, arising from this perceived danger; (c) a link between this sense of unity and helping; and (d) risk-taking to help strangers. We suggest a novel explanation for this evidence of `collective resilience, based on self-categorization theory, according to which common fate entails a redefinition of self (from `me to `us) and hence enhanced concern for others in the crowd.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: John Drury
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:34
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2012 09:55
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/13300
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