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‘As resilient as an ironweed:' narrative resilience in nonprofit organizing

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This study explores the organizing strategies of a nonprofit organization working to address rural food insecurity. I worked alongside Sustainable Appalachia, a nonprofit organization operating to create sustainable food systems for the people of Appalachia Ohio. Through ethnographic-based research I worked with this organization over the course of one year by volunteering as a clerk at a produce auction, working in community gardens, and attending planning meetings. Throughout these activities I collected discourse, including participant observation field notes, semi-structured interviews, promotional materials, and participatory sketching. Within and through these discourses, I began to shape the theoretical concept of narrative resilience. As I explain, narrative resilience is place-based, heroic, and pragmatic. I end by offering ways in which this framework may be particularly useful to applied communication scholars interested in the study of resilience and nonprofit organizing.




Okamoto, K. E. (2020). ‘As resilient as an ironweed:’’ narrative resilience in nonprofit organizing.’ Journal of Applied Communication Research, 48(5), 618–636.

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