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Durham University

Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing

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Wolfson Research Institute - Annual Lecture 2011 - 'Connecting Communities: Resilience, Resistance and Well-Being' by Professor Gareth Williams, Director, Wales Health Impact Assessment Support Unit

28th October 2011, 12:30 to 14:00, Theatre D004, Ebsworth Building, Durham University, Queen's Campus, Stockton on Tees, TS17 6BH

The Wolfson Research Institute is delighted to welcome Professor Gareth Williams, Director of the Wales Health Impact Assessment Support Unit  and Co-Director of the Cardiff Institute of Society and Health  to deliver the 2011 Annual Lecture on Friday  28th October 2011.

Lecture Title: 'Connecting Communities: Resilience, Resistance and Well-Being'

The virtues and vices of communities are high on the policy agenda. Indeed, in the UK at least, as the State shrivels and shrinks, the idea of community is probably more intensely politicised than it has been at any time since the end of the Second World War. This lecture begins with some reflections on the enduring appeal of the concept of 'community' in everyday conversations about how we live. It then goes on to report two recent reviews of the literature - one theoretical, the other systematic - which contrast the richness of community-related concepts with the weaknesses of their use in understanding and informing policies and interventions to build community strengths. Findings from recent qualitative studies of particular communities in south Wales are then used to explore the limitations of 'resilience' and the continuing importance of 'resistance' as frames within which the well-being of communities can be understood. The lecture concludes with some final thoughts on the state of austerity we are in. These will probably be of no use whatsoever to practising policy-makers but may help to stimulate some further discussion and debate

Professor Gareth Williams has worked in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University since 1999, where he teaches medical sociology, and is currently a Professor of Sociology. He is Director of the Wales Health Impact Assessment Support Unit and Co-Director of the Cardiff Institute of Society and Health . Gareth has written and published widely in journals and books on the themes of chronic illness and disability, health policy, health inequalities and lay knowledge. In recent times he has undertaken research on and with local communities dealing with the consequences of health inequalities (see Community Health and Well Being: Action Research on Health Inequalities, Policy Press 2007), and the particular health impacts of housing renewal and open-cast coalmining. With colleagues in Durham and Aberdeen he has also examined the impact of devolution on health inequalities policies and governance in Wales, Scotland and England. He is also a non-executive director of Public Health Wales.


  • 12:00 - Tea/coffee refreshments available
  • 12:30 - Welcome by Professor Clare Bambra, Wolfson
    Research Institute
  • 12:35 - Guest lecture by Professor Gareth Williams
  • 13:30 - Questions and Answers
  • 14:00 - Close

Ebsworth Building
Durham University
Queen's Campus
Stockton on Tees
TS17 6BH

Campus Map
Directions by Road

To register your attendance please follow this link or  contact Linda Crowe by email or telephone (0191 334 0013).

Contact for more information about this event.