Online webinar: A Wellbeing Worthy of COVID times - the need for a relational approach
Sarah White and Shreya Jha make a case that the COVID crisis demands a new, relational approach to wellbeing, that reflects what people in practice can do and be, as well as how they think and feel. Putting relationships at the centre means recognising that people are in relationship with others, and this critically affects the opportunities they face and the choices they make. The discussion will address the challenge such an approach poses to our policy and institutions, and how it might be advanced in practice.
- Thursday 29 October 2020 06:00 pm until Thursday 29 October 2020 07:15 pm (Add to calendar)
- Katie Wright
- Presented by:
- School of Humanities and Social Sciences
- Type of Event:
COVID-19 has made us aware of our interconnections as never before. The spread of the virus makes manifest our links with distant others. We are suddenly conscious of the unsought intimacies of touchscreens, supermarket trolleys, door handles. As lockdown deprived us of those we ordinarily see, it also brought an unaccustomed upsurge of neighbourliness, and new awareness of how being together matters. Wellbeing, already a focus of concern, became a primary preoccupation, with growing calls that it be made the centre of our politics, that we should seek not simply a return to ‘normal’, but to ‘build back better’ to a kinder and more socially responsible world.
In this seminar we argue that the COVID crisis demands a new, relational approach to wellbeing, that reflects what people in practice can do and be, as well as how they think and feel. Putting relationships at the centre means recognising that people are in relationship with others, and this critically affects the opportunities they face and the choices they make. Relationships are also pivotal for livelihood strategies, especially in contexts where the state and formal sector are limited or weak. But relationships should not just be objects of analysis. Going further, the challenge is to think relationally, to look for the connections between different parts of life, such as how interactions within and between persons are shaped by social, political, economic and ecological structures and processes, and how these in turn contribute to shaping one another. We discuss the challenge such an approach poses to our policy and institutions, and how it might be advanced in practice.
This event is sponsored by the Wellbeing Research Cluster, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, La Trobe University.
Sarah White is Director of Relational Wellbeing Collaborative, an enterprise dedicated to designing creative, self-sustaining solutions with organisations and communities.
With thirty years experience in social development research, Sarah has published extensively on gender, participation, child rights, marriage, race, religion and masculinities.
Formerly Professor of international development and wellbeing at the University of Bath, UK, Sarah founded the Collaborative to advance relational wellbeing thinking and practice in interventions for social change.
Shreya Jha is Associate Director at Relational Wellbeing Collaborative. She is an accomplished reflexive practitioner in social development and inclusive mental health, with advanced skills in qualitative social research and team-building.
Shreya’s experience spans 20 years of programmatic interventions and research on disability, mental health and wellbeing, gender, children’s lives, and poverty and disaster reconstruction.
Since 2009 she has been working with Sarah on developing the relational approach to wellbeing.