Examining relational social ontologies of disaster resilience: lived experiences from India, Indonesia, Nepal, Chile, and Andean territories

Eija Meriläinen, Jacquleen Joseph, Marjaana Jauhola*, Punam Yadav, Eila Romo-Murphy, Juliette Marin, Shayam Gadhavi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The neoliberal resilience discourse and its critiques both contribute to its hegemony, obscuring alternative discourses in the context of risk and uncertainties. Drawing from the “ontology of potentiality”, the authors suggest reclaiming “resilience” through situated accounts of the connected and relational every day from the global south. To explore alternate possibilities, the authors draw attention to the social ontology of disaster resilience that foregrounds relationality, intersectionality and situated knowledge.
Design/methodology/approach: Quilting together the field work experiences in India, Indonesia, Nepal, Chile and Andean territories, the authors interrogate the social ontologies and politics of resilience in disaster studies in these contexts through six vignettes. Quilting, as a research methodology, weaves together various individual fragments involving their specific materialities, situated knowledge, layered temporalities, affects and memories. The authors’ six vignettes discuss the use, politicisation and resistance to resilience in the aftermath of disasters.
Findings: While the pieces do not try to bring out a single “truth”, the authors argue that firstly, the vignettes provide non-Western conceptualisations of resilience, and attempts to provincialise externally imposed notions of resilience. Secondly, they draw attention to social ontology of resilience as the examples underscores the intersubjectivity of disaster experiences, the relational reaching out to communities and significant others.
Originality/value: Drawing from in-depth research conducted in six disaster contexts by seven scholars from South Asia, South America and Northern Europe, the authors embrace pluralist situated knowledge, and cross-cultural/language co-authoring. Thus, the co-authored piece contributes to diversifying disaster studies scholarship methodologically.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalDisaster Prevention and Management
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)273-287
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 02.06.2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Lived experience
  • Resistance
  • Disaster resilience
  • Social ontology
  • Gender and disaster


Dive into the research topics of 'Examining relational social ontologies of disaster resilience: lived experiences from India, Indonesia, Nepal, Chile, and Andean territories'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this