This paper aims to argue that resilience – and its underlying socio-ecological perspective – is a critical concept that could serve to integrate different views on, and approaches to, social marketing. The aim is to inspire social marketers to move away from narrow, issue-based interventions targeting individual behaviours and to consider the impact of social ecologies, particularly the contribution resilience research can make to behaviour change.
This is a conceptual paper; socio-ecological models and the resilience concept are discussed and applied to a current “wicked problem” – obesity.
From a socio-ecological perspective, research findings highlight the impact macro, meso and micro forces have on behaviour and the importance of a child’s micro-system and the influence it has on development and life outcomes. Building resilience requires a relationship-building, person-centred, holistic and long-term developmental approach to behaviour change.
This is a conceptual paper that introduces new concepts to the social marketing field. Future research should focus on understanding how to implement a resilience-building approach in practice – including the interrelationships and interactions between individual, family and community resilience – and how resilience can be integrated within systematic, socio-ecological thinking when addressing “wicked problems”.
Rather than blaming and targeting individuals, the goal should be to create an environment that supports parents, families and communities to build resilience at the micro, meso and macro levels. The findings support the argument that social marketers should adopt an upstream approach to develop interventions that make the environment the primary focus. Social marketers should collaborate with, and learn from, social workers, psychologists and educationalist to further their understanding of resilience. This would have a positive, sustainable impact on a whole range of social and health issues, ultimately helping to address the overarching issue of social inequality.
Building resilience amongst individuals, families and communities offer a means to achieve fundamental positive social change and to reduce social, economic and health inequality.
The paper offers a unique perspective on how and why resilience – and its underlying socio-ecological framework – should be applied within the social marketing field.
Wood, M. (2019), "Resilience research and social marketing: the route to sustainable behaviour change", Journal of Social Marketing, Vol. 9 No. 1, pp. 77-93. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSOCM-01-2018-0006Download as .RIS
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