Toward an African definition of resilience: a rural South African cummunity’s view of resilient Basotho youth
Theron, Linda C.
Theron, Adam M.C.
Malindi, Macalane J.
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Resilience, or adaptive behavior in the face of adversity, has recently come to be understood as a phenomenon that should not be uniformly conceptualized across contexts and cultures. This emerging understanding has urged exploration of what resilience might mean in specific cultural contexts. As in other majority nation contexts, there is scant documentation of what resilience might mean in an African context. In this article, the authors report on an exploratory qualitative study, rooted in a constructivist grounded theory approach, in which 11 South African adults from an impoverished rural area were invited to provide a description of resilient Basotho youth. In contrast to Eurocentric perspectives, their descriptions, verbal, written, and hand-drawn, offer an Africentric understanding of resilience. This emerging African conceptualization of resilience advocates for deeper exploration of collectivist philosophies underpinning Black youth resilience and continued research into the process of African resilience.