Negotiating Resilience investigates the highly intricate and interactive nature of the processes that protect youth whose lives are in transition and who feel ‘out of place’ in some way, against adversity.  While the team explored the tensions between homogeneity and heterogeneity of wellbeing among youth in transition, the emphasis was on capturing the variability of young people’s experiences as case-studies, rather than focusing on comparing data across the sites.  To access the experiences of young people, the NRP uses an innovative combination of visual methods – including videotaping a day in the life of youth and photo-elicitation – as well as observation, qualitative interviews and reciprocity between researchers and youth.

The purpose of the project is to understand the interactive processes associated with positive development among children and youth who are in transition between two (and possibly more) culturally distinct worlds. We are interested in learning both what resilience means, as well as the pathways to resilience, from the perspectives of youth who are “out-of-place” in some way and coping well with their displacement (for example, a youth with a physical disability being educated among able-bodied youth; an Aboriginal youth living off-reserve in an urban environment; a multi-ethnic youth whose identity must be negotiated in an ethnically diverse community; and a child refugee displaced from her/his home community).

The Negotiating Resilience Project is a three-year, multi-site, visual methods study funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and administered through the Resilience Research Centre at Dalhousie University.