Abstract

If community disaster resilience is to mature into a robust and lasting area of research, methodologically facilitated dialogue between empirical observations and theory is necessary. However, methodological and empirical research has outpaced community disaster resilience theory. To address this gap, a theoretical framework called WISC is presented. WISC is named after four constructs of the framework: well-being, identity, services, and capitals. WISC relates the two concepts of community and infrastructure, broadly defined, to the four constructs it is named after. The 4 constructs are respectively defined by 29 variables. The broadest interpretation of WISC is that infrastructure supports and facilitates components of community within human settlements. Infrastructure is represented as combinations of capitals and services; community is represented by connections of identity and well-being. Ultimately, well-being of a community is dependent on that community’s collective capital. But these two constructs are mediated by the intervening constructs of identity and services. WISC goes beyond existing frameworks by addressing essential elements of theory building that have been overlooked in the literature, while synthesizing other frameworks and areas of knowledge. WISC provides a powerful foundation for posing and evaluating hypotheses, improving data collection efforts, and, most importantly, enabling critical theory building.