Journal of Intercultural Communication, issue 11, April 2006

Arve Gunnestad

Resilience in a Cross-Cultural Perspective: How resilience is generated in different cultures.


In this study I will explore how resilience is related to culture. Do different cultures generate resilience in different ways? As a background I present a model of resilience developed from a review of a number of studies as well as my own research. This model shows how the various protective factors can be divided into three main groups, and how different combinations of these factors develop resilience through some basic psychological processes. Based on a dynamic definition of culture, the article presents examples of three different cultures and how they generate resilience.
The article then briefly discusses four issues in relation to resilience and culture:
1. Protective factors universal or contextual,
2. Different ways of creating resilience,
3. Resilience and vulnerability from culture,
4. Minority and majority cultures, biculturalism and resilience.
In the discussion the article make comparisons between Southern African culture and Norwegian culture. Lastly, the article highlights some possible educational implications of the study.

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