Mastery and social position: factors in negotiating urban social resilience

Camilo Andres Benitez Avila*, Florian Schuberth, Samantha Copeland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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The pragmatic view of urban resilience has re-framed long-lasting social issues as chronic social stresses that can be addressed by building strong social networks in urban environments. This practice, inspired by disaster management, is problematic because it presupposes a community whose members share the same fate. Conversely, social vulnerability emerges from the asymmetrical distribution of agency in the social order, so that a low social position jeopardises life chances. Hence, we argue that the social dimension in urban resilience should focus on the role of social positions and individuals’ agentic predispositions to control their life chances if faced with adversity (i.e., their Mastery). Using structural equation modelling and data from a 2018 public Dutch survey, we found that when mediated by Mastery, socioeconomic status drives the individual’s positive adaptation behaviour. In contrast, Interaction with Primary Networks, Neighbourhood Cohesion, and Membership in Voluntary Associations have an unsubstantial relationship to positive adaptation. These empirical results suggest that Mastery is crucial for people’s resilience in their daily life. In view of the recent shift towards negotiation in resilience thinking, we propose Mastery as the guiding factor for transforming arrangements that shape social positions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number701
Number of pages13
JournalHumanities and Social Sciences Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2023


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