Emergent social identities in a flood: implications for community psychosocial resilience

Ntontis, Evangelos, Drury, John, Amlot, Richard, Rubin, James and Williams, Richard (2018) Emergent social identities in a flood: implications for community psychosocial resilience. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 28 (1). pp. 3-14. ISSN 1052-9284

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While the mobilisation of pre-existing networks is crucial in psychosocial resilience in disasters, shared identities can also emerge in the absence of such previous bonds, due to survivors sharing a sense of “common fate”. Common fate seems to operate in “sudden-impact” disasters (e.g., bombings), but to our knowledge no research has explored social identity processes in “rising-tide” incidents. We interviewed an opportunity sample of 17 residents of York, UK, who were involved in the 2015-16 floods. Using thematic and discourse analysis we investigated residents’ experiences of the floods, and the strategic function that invocations of community identities perform. We show how shared community identities emerged (e.g., due to shared problems, shared goals, perceptions of vulnerability, and collapse of previous group boundaries), and show how they acted as the basis of social support (both given and expected). The findings serve to further develop the social identity model of collective psychosocial resilience in “rising-tide” disasters. Implications for policy and practice are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: community resilience; social identity; flood; common fate; disaster; emergency
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: Q Science > QZ Psychology
Depositing User: Evangelos Ntontis
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2017 15:00
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 15:04
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/69246

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