Developing a context based framework for understanding interpersonal resilience

Bundhoo, Dilshaad ORCID: 0000-0003-0262-9868 (2018) Developing a context based framework for understanding interpersonal resilience. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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Taking a pragmatic approach, this research has developed a context based framework to understand how people effectively cope with each other in their relationships at times of stress. Contexts of intractable conflicts – such as Israel and the West Bank region - are fertile ground for such inquiry because the sources of tension on people’s relationships are numerous and accentuated, making any resilient cases worthy of attention. Besides, there is an urgent need for expertise to manage interpersonal relationships effectively and efficiently as the reviewed literature has underlined. A conceptual framework was developed to provide a methodologically robust and philosophically coherent basis for the investigation and analyses were grounded in contemporary literature using a trans-disciplinary approach. From there, a three-tiered analytical framework was built to allow understanding of the emergence of resilience in dyadic co-worker relationships in episodes of tension. The analytical lens employed, grounded in the Maussian gift theory, has allowed for a multi-level and multi-dimensional analysis, thus moving from an individualistic to a relational approach, much advocated for and yet sparsely studied in the literature. The field research was conducted over a phased period of three years in three small-scale enterprises. Following an exploratory phase, data was gathered using semi-structured interviews with individuals close to the businesses and their day-to-day operations. Conversations focused on the stories of how participants dealt with circumstances of stress in their work-life relationships with each other. Findings were then fed back to participants through group interviews which allowed a refinement of the primary work, and further deepened the research findings. Analyses of the three cases revealed three complementary drivers of resilient relationships: 1) A motivated willingness to maintain the relationship; 2) the existence of a physical and emotional space for communication; and 3) a space of recognition, underpinned by feelings of being listened to and understood. All three drivers brought a feeling of belonging to the relationship which further maintained and strengthened the bonds. The analytical framework developed, and methodological approach employed, have proved useful in understanding how interpersonal resilience of co-workers is initiated and maintained in the specific contexts. While focusing at the micro-level, the research has also shed a different light on designing research in intractable conflict environments. Instead of focusing on individual traits or socio-economic factors, the contextualised socio-cognitive approach put forward here opens the gateway to more complex thinking and better understanding of human relationships and the drivers nurturing and maintaining them.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Uncontrolled Keywords: Interpersonal relationships; Resilience; Conflict environments; Israel; West Bank
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Countryside and Community Research Institute
Research Priority Areas: Place, Environment and Community
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2019 14:46
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 21:47

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