1st Edition

Sociologising Child and Youth Resilience with Bourdieu An Australian Perspective

By Guanglun Michael Mu Copyright 2023
    220 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In this book, Mu crafts a sociology of resilience through his multi-year research with Australian students. The content is not merely concerned with individual achievements in precarious conditions but also ponders over transformative, reflexive, and power-rejective everyday practices that make social change possible, probable, and even inevitable.

    Since Emmy Werner and her colleagues discovered the "self-righting" and "invincible" children on the Hawaiian island of Kauai who fared well despite exposure to significant household risks, positive psychology has markedly advanced the knowledge about child and youth resilience to adversities. Yet, many children and adolescents continue to slide through system cracks. This fact does not invalidate psychology of resilience; rather, it urges new frameworks to break the reproductive circle of inequality. Reframing the traditional psychological notion of resilience through recourse to Bourdieu’s relational and reflexive sociology, the book moves beyond individual adaptation to adverse conditions and takes a deep dive into sociological resilience to structural problems. It offers school professionals and educational researchers an epistemological tool to reapproach resilience and reappropriate Bourdieu for social change.

    Offering scholarship that will interest researchers in the areas of child and youth resilience, sociology of resilience, and sociology of education, the volume is written to engage with the intellectual work of both established scholars and emerging researchers within Australia and beyond. The empirical analyses also provide useful insights for educational professionals in schools and resilience researchers in universities.

    1. Sketching a Sociological Analysis of Resilience 2. Revisiting Child and Youth Resilience: Misconceptualisation, Conceptualisation, and Reconceptualisation 3. Sociologising Child and Youth Resilience through Bourdieu’s Field Analysis 4. Resilience for Self-Transformation: Resolution, Reconciliation, Recalcitrance, Retreat, and Redirection 5. Beyond Self-Transformation: Reconstruction and Reflexivity as Two Further Puzzles of the Multi-Rs Resilience Model 6. Revisiting the Multi-Rs Resilience Model: Exploratory Quantitative Analyses of Classifications and Relations 7. Concluding Remarks and Future Directions: Sociological and Biosociological Approaches to Resilience


    Guanglun Michael Mu is a sociologist of education. He is an Enterprise Fellow at the University of South Australia, an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Queensland University of Technology, and the author of seven books. His work engages with resilience building, Bourdieu’s sociology, and quantitative and mixed methods research.

    "This book offers a compelling argument for the need to reframe resiliency for children and young people as a complex sociological phenomenon that, when understood from a sociological perspective, not only supports researchers and practitioners working with children and youth in the area of resiliency, but offers opportunities for making wider societal change."

    Dr Jennifer Fane, Director of Education, Learning Disabilities Society, British Columbia