Linda Theron

Linda Theron (D.Ed.)
Dep. of Educational Psychology
Faculty of Education
University of Pretoria, South Africa
Psychologist (Educational; PS 0063622)

Tree growing from rocks
South African students explain their resilience processes Video - South African students explain their resilience

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Pathways to Resilience

Introduction to Khazimula

(See Pathways to Resilience Page for the complete list of videos )
Included photos / drawings are copyrighted; photos taken by Prof Tinie Theron or Mr Eswill Theron

Invited Plenary Panel (Front: Lali McCubbin, Dorothy Bottrell, Charles Mphande. Back:, Angie Hart, Steve Reid, Arvin Bhana, Linda Theron)

‘Waithood’ is Alcinda Honwana’s interpretation of what young people experience when inequitable social systems disrupt their attainment of social adulthood. An increasingly popular youth response to such limbo, particularly in Africa, is public protest and subversion. But, under what circumstances does such social agency nurture sustained resilience? Do young people’s responses possibly include alternate actions, strategies, or visions, and how might these enable or constrain resilience processes? Perhaps more importantly, what role do social ecologies play in all of this? This multi-country plenary-panel (Linda Theron [chair], Arvin Bhana, Dorothy Bottrell, Angie Hart, Lali McCubbin, Charles Mphande, and Steve Reid) showcased six case studies of ‘waithood’. They foreground African, Native Hawaiian and UK-based young people whose life-worlds impose ‘waithood’. Some are constrained by immigrant status, race/ethnicity, disability, and/or disadvantage; others are hamstrung by megalomaniac governments, compulsory community service, or premature fatherhood. The panel revealed the complex variability of young people’s responses, ranging from a ‘no waiting’ activism, to stoically ‘doing what they must’ and developing grit, to giving up. Each case flagged that young people are not lone actors in their responses – social ecologies are co-actors, and not always in ways that sustain resilience. Taken as a collective, these cases signal that resilience-supporting responses to ‘waithood’ demand constructive systemic inputs – including collaborations with young people to overhaul life-worlds that threaten resilience.

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