The purpose of this paper is to understand the meaning of social constructivism and objectivism within the context of disaster risk from which disaster risk policy can be analysed. In particular, the paper attempts to explore the implications of social constructivism and objectivism in disaster risk which is essential in explaining why disaster risk has different nuances and consequently policy responses.
A literature survey was used to explore social constructivism and objectivism within the context of disaster risk. The survey involved documentary searches from academic books, journal articles and disaster risk reports to serve as primary research data.
The analysis revealed that viewing and managing disasters through the lens of objectivism might not yield the desired results of minimising risk as it conceals the vulnerabilities to disaster risk. The objectivist perspective is therefore in itself considered inadequate for the study of disaster risk and that social constructivist assumptions are required in order to analyse disaster risk. Towards this end, social constructivism offers a discursive approach to disaster risk policy science; one that more optimally illuminates competing local perspectives.
An epistemological and ontological assessment of social constructivism and objectivism in disaster risk can assist greatly in understanding the discursive dimension of disaster risk through explanations of how and why disasters are framed the way they are framed and the implications of this on policy formulation and implementation.
Chipangura, P., Van Niekerk, D. and Van Der Waldt, G. (2016), "An exploration of objectivism and social constructivism within the context of disaster risk", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 25 No. 2, pp. 261-274. https://doi.org/10.1108/DPM-09-2015-0210Download as .RIS
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