Experiences of community spirit in flood recovery:

Exploring the opportunities for community development

Jennifer Woods

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

This thesis explores the interpreted meanings of the term ‘community spirit’ within a specific flood context to determine whether community spirit can be used as an asset for disaster recovery. Community spirit is a term used within government, the media, and by politicians with regard to a flood recovery, generally in a positive manner but often without elucidation. The literature review highlights that research presents nuanced meanings of the term but no definitive meaning or discussion about how community spirit might be used as an asset.
Social work functions at the nexus between people and government, applying ethical assumptions around supporting vulnerable people and challenging oppression. As such, it is well placed to utilise community spirit as an asset within a community development framework to achieve social work’s goal of supporting vulnerable people in difficult circumstances.
This qualitative study applied interpretive phenomenological analysis and critical social work theory to address a three-part research question. Firstly, what does the term community spirit mean? Secondly, what is the lived experience of community spirit from a range of stakeholders with regard to a flood event? Finally, if community spirit is an asset, how can it be used by social workers within an asset based community development model to enhance the resilience of that community when future floods and disasters occur?
This research study found a range of nuanced meanings for community spirit from literature, the Australian government and the media. These broader meanings could be compared to the nuanced meanings that the participants with the lived flood experience. The findings from this study concluded that community spirit is, indeed, an asset that can be used by social workers within an asset based community development framework. However, the research also found some differences between the nuanced meanings of community spirit, and these differences are significant for critical social work wisdom. This has implications for social work when utilising community spirit to assist in disaster recovery, and thus some concluding recommendations and timeframes are made.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Howard, Jonathon, Principal Supervisor
  • Bell, Karen, Principal Supervisor
  • Mungai, Ndungi, Principal Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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community development
natural disaster
community
assets
experience
social work
disaster
social worker
development model
oppression
wisdom
resilience
politician
stakeholder

Cite this

@phdthesis{158a212056814a819ed43132bae37995,
title = "Experiences of community spirit in flood recovery:: Exploring the opportunities for community development",
abstract = "This thesis explores the interpreted meanings of the term ‘community spirit’ within a specific flood context to determine whether community spirit can be used as an asset for disaster recovery. Community spirit is a term used within government, the media, and by politicians with regard to a flood recovery, generally in a positive manner but often without elucidation. The literature review highlights that research presents nuanced meanings of the term but no definitive meaning or discussion about how community spirit might be used as an asset.Social work functions at the nexus between people and government, applying ethical assumptions around supporting vulnerable people and challenging oppression. As such, it is well placed to utilise community spirit as an asset within a community development framework to achieve social work’s goal of supporting vulnerable people in difficult circumstances.This qualitative study applied interpretive phenomenological analysis and critical social work theory to address a three-part research question. Firstly, what does the term community spirit mean? Secondly, what is the lived experience of community spirit from a range of stakeholders with regard to a flood event? Finally, if community spirit is an asset, how can it be used by social workers within an asset based community development model to enhance the resilience of that community when future floods and disasters occur?This research study found a range of nuanced meanings for community spirit from literature, the Australian government and the media. These broader meanings could be compared to the nuanced meanings that the participants with the lived flood experience. The findings from this study concluded that community spirit is, indeed, an asset that can be used by social workers within an asset based community development framework. However, the research also found some differences between the nuanced meanings of community spirit, and these differences are significant for critical social work wisdom. This has implications for social work when utilising community spirit to assist in disaster recovery, and thus some concluding recommendations and timeframes are made.",
keywords = "community spirit , Social work approach to resileince, disaster management",
author = "Jennifer Woods",
year = "2017",
language = "English",
school = "Charles Sturt University",

}

Experiences of community spirit in flood recovery: Exploring the opportunities for community development. / Woods, Jennifer.

2017. 310 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

TY - THES

T1 - Experiences of community spirit in flood recovery:

T2 - Exploring the opportunities for community development

AU - Woods, Jennifer

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - This thesis explores the interpreted meanings of the term ‘community spirit’ within a specific flood context to determine whether community spirit can be used as an asset for disaster recovery. Community spirit is a term used within government, the media, and by politicians with regard to a flood recovery, generally in a positive manner but often without elucidation. The literature review highlights that research presents nuanced meanings of the term but no definitive meaning or discussion about how community spirit might be used as an asset.Social work functions at the nexus between people and government, applying ethical assumptions around supporting vulnerable people and challenging oppression. As such, it is well placed to utilise community spirit as an asset within a community development framework to achieve social work’s goal of supporting vulnerable people in difficult circumstances.This qualitative study applied interpretive phenomenological analysis and critical social work theory to address a three-part research question. Firstly, what does the term community spirit mean? Secondly, what is the lived experience of community spirit from a range of stakeholders with regard to a flood event? Finally, if community spirit is an asset, how can it be used by social workers within an asset based community development model to enhance the resilience of that community when future floods and disasters occur?This research study found a range of nuanced meanings for community spirit from literature, the Australian government and the media. These broader meanings could be compared to the nuanced meanings that the participants with the lived flood experience. The findings from this study concluded that community spirit is, indeed, an asset that can be used by social workers within an asset based community development framework. However, the research also found some differences between the nuanced meanings of community spirit, and these differences are significant for critical social work wisdom. This has implications for social work when utilising community spirit to assist in disaster recovery, and thus some concluding recommendations and timeframes are made.

AB - This thesis explores the interpreted meanings of the term ‘community spirit’ within a specific flood context to determine whether community spirit can be used as an asset for disaster recovery. Community spirit is a term used within government, the media, and by politicians with regard to a flood recovery, generally in a positive manner but often without elucidation. The literature review highlights that research presents nuanced meanings of the term but no definitive meaning or discussion about how community spirit might be used as an asset.Social work functions at the nexus between people and government, applying ethical assumptions around supporting vulnerable people and challenging oppression. As such, it is well placed to utilise community spirit as an asset within a community development framework to achieve social work’s goal of supporting vulnerable people in difficult circumstances.This qualitative study applied interpretive phenomenological analysis and critical social work theory to address a three-part research question. Firstly, what does the term community spirit mean? Secondly, what is the lived experience of community spirit from a range of stakeholders with regard to a flood event? Finally, if community spirit is an asset, how can it be used by social workers within an asset based community development model to enhance the resilience of that community when future floods and disasters occur?This research study found a range of nuanced meanings for community spirit from literature, the Australian government and the media. These broader meanings could be compared to the nuanced meanings that the participants with the lived flood experience. The findings from this study concluded that community spirit is, indeed, an asset that can be used by social workers within an asset based community development framework. However, the research also found some differences between the nuanced meanings of community spirit, and these differences are significant for critical social work wisdom. This has implications for social work when utilising community spirit to assist in disaster recovery, and thus some concluding recommendations and timeframes are made.

KW - community spirit

KW - Social work approach to resileince

KW - disaster management

M3 - Doctoral Thesis

ER -