A multidimensional perspective on adversity: from peace to understanding.

Sheehy, Kieron and Holliman, Andrew J. (2023). A multidimensional perspective on adversity: from peace to understanding. In: Holliman, Andrew and Sheehy, Kieron eds. Overcoming Adversity in Education. Oxon, UK and New York, USA: Routledge, pp. 262–266.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003180029-23


This book was written during a global pandemic which, as illustrated in chapters, has often served to highlight and exacerbate existing adversities in children and young people’s lives. The chapter authors have consistently foregrounded that adversity cannot be reduced to a simplistic concept of the interface of the individual and an event. It is framed and, in many ways, constructed by a complex network of individual, social, societal, and environmental factors. Furthermore, these factors are not static in nature or impact over time. Consequently, many authors highlight an ecosystemic perspective on the nature of adversity. This suggests that in addressing adversity one can seek to intervene at many different levels in order to increase the likelihood of positive changes occurring. In trying to gain a handle on this complexity, the title of a song is drawn upon to point towards different levels of a multidimensional framing of adversity: peace, love, and understanding.

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