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Generic sources of disaster communities: a social network approach

Alan Kirschenbaum (Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000 Israel)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Article publication date: 1 October 2004

Abstract

This paper utilizes the generic source of “community” to define a disaster community emphasizing disaster areas’ perceived boundaries and the social networks that fall within these boundaries. Three such “disaster communities” are proposed based on family‐kin, micro‐neighborhood, and macro‐neighborhood social networks. Utilizing an Israel national representative sample of (814) urban households residing in 150 municipalities, a set of hypotheses were tested regarding the impact of disaster communities on individual disaster preparedness behaviors. In general, more socially robust communities brought about greater levels of individual preparedness but with significant exceptions by type of preparedness. In addition, the predictive ability of such disaster communities on each preparedness component varied. Ethnic and educational composition of the networks had a negligible impact on disaster preparedness behaviors. Overall, the use of social network based disaster communities provides a sound theoretical and empirical foundation to study disaster behaviors.

Keywords

Citation

Kirschenbaum, A. (2004), "Generic sources of disaster communities: a social network approach", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 24 No. 10/11, pp. 94-129. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443330410791073

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited