To read this content please select one of the options below:

Resilience and resisting resilience: ethnographies in neoliberal L’Aquila post-earthquake

Rita Ciccaglione (Dipartimento di Storia Culture Religioni, Universita degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza, Roma, Italy)

Disaster Prevention and Management

ISSN: 0965-3562

Article publication date: 10 June 2019

Issue publication date: 31 July 2019




The purpose of this paper is to analyze the relationships between neoliberal institutional management of the 2009 L’Aquila earthquake and the local dwelling practices, which consequently originated in the new urban layout.


It presents itself as a post-catastrophe ethnography carried out from a specific approach, that is, the street ethnography that consists of collecting the practices and discourses of inhabitants, administrators, experts and commercial operators, which take place on or around the street.


Illustrating the stages from the declaration of the state of emergency to the expertise-proposed reconstruction models, it shows the differences between resilient strategies and policies of urban management and resistant dwelling practices that are analyzed progressively focusing on a particular social group: the teenagers of the alleys.

Research limitations/implications

Descending in the alleys means to take a micro-sight that ables to identify present living paths.

Practical implications

Based on a long fieldwork, it bridges the gap between “theories” and practices, and it highlights those fields of action that despite being dominated by wide-ranging disaster management and urban planning logics bring out the work of social life in reweaving its threads in contexts of crisis.

Social implications

Paying attention to a social portion that often escapes from ethnographic investigation, this study has the merit of dealing with teenagers in this kind of situation.


Indeed, this part of society and its creative “culture” receive the focus of a few studies, especially in case of catastrophes.



Ciccaglione, R. (2019), "Resilience and resisting resilience: ethnographies in neoliberal L’Aquila post-earthquake", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 28 No. 4, pp. 501-512.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles