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Research on emergent behavior has been a significant topic within disaster studies. Through a detailed review of the literature we provide background information about…
Research on emergent behavior has been a significant topic within disaster studies. Through a detailed review of the literature we provide background information about this particular branch of disaster sociology. Following a brief discussion of the process by which literature was selected, important trends and areas of debate are discussed. These include the validation of previous findings, an expansion of the discussion on emergent phenomena and a critique of the bureaucratic approach. We conclude with implications for the theory and practice of emergency management.
Since the late 1980s, social theorists championed for the birth of a new era, in which societies were increasingly exposed to growing global risks. The presence of…
Since the late 1980s, social theorists championed for the birth of a new era, in which societies were increasingly exposed to growing global risks. The presence of increasing risks including natural disasters, technological errors, terrorist attacks, nuclear wars and environmental degradation suggests that human beings are becoming increasingly vulnerable. Therefore, an understanding of vulnerability is crucial. Vulnerability is often considered as the potential to suffer from physical attacks. This approach, however, has limited capacity to explain many forms of suffering including not only physical aspects, but also mental, social, economic, political and social dimensions. This chapter draws on the vulnerability literature to present an overarching framework for the book. It starts with an outline of the concept origins, then discusses its relationship with the risk society thesis before forming conceptualisation. The chapter then points out the key similarities and differences between vulnerability and other concepts such as risk, disaster, poverty, security and resilience. The authors rework an existing “security” framework to develop a new definition of the concept of vulnerability. Finally, the authors look into the root causes and the formation of vulnerability within social systems.
Purpose – Everyday human behavior is complicated and difficult to understand. When a disaster event is factored in, human behavior becomes even more complicated. Much like…
Purpose – Everyday human behavior is complicated and difficult to understand. When a disaster event is factored in, human behavior becomes even more complicated. Much like during routine times where resources are unequally distributed, so too are the impacts of a disaster. That is, people are more and less vulnerable to disaster and the damage a disaster inflicts has more to do with the social context (type of housing, level of urbanization, average level of education) of the impacted community. Part of the social context of a community that is not considered part of vulnerability analysis is rates of crime. Indeed, there is reliable evidence that demonstrates lawlessness and crime do not happen after “typical” disasters (e.g., see Quarantelli, 2005). However, we are beginning to see antisocial or conflict behavior, such as looting, price gouging, and violence, especially in more recent events like Hurricanes Hugo and Katrina.
Design/methodology/approach – Using the case studies of Hurricanes Hugo and Katrina, this chapter applies conflict and structural strain theories to lawlessness post-disaster, and makes call to consider these theories as part of disaster studies.
Findings – There are emerging patterns of lawlessness that are happening after contemporary disaster events.
Value of the paper – Considerable research posits that people, for the most part, act in consensus following a typical disaster event. However, current events like Hurricane Katrina are by no means typical, and, in fact, trigger new typologies for understanding acute crisis events. These new events are showing us that what have traditionally been called disaster myths may be becoming more of a reality than we once thought. Therefore, criminology of disaster is important to develop further. Little research does this, outside of Harper and Frailing (2010).
This chapter provides the foundation for the book. The objective of this chapter is to outline the theme of the book and to provide the context for the chapters that…
This chapter provides the foundation for the book. The objective of this chapter is to outline the theme of the book and to provide the context for the chapters that follow. Disaster recovery is a challenge for governments and for affected communities, families, and individuals. It is a challenge, because recovery from catastrophic disasters can be much more complicated and elusive than what can be addressed by national and international aid organizations given the time and other resources. The short literature review provides the research context, and the overview of the book describes each of the chapters briefly.
The impact of climate disasters (e.g., floods, storms, or landslides), which are generally of low intensity and high frequency, should not be overlooked in developing countries. Global experiences related to the damage due to these disasters indicate that such events can be devastating in communities that are vulnerable to hazardous impacts. Cumulative effects of climate disasters are a sign of a potential catastrophe. Moreover, the recent increase in these events poses additional issues that increase the cost of local public administration, including emergency operation and infrastructure recovery. This chapter explains key problems related to climate disasters that are increasing, particularly in the local area of developing countries, and clarifies the need to incorporate climate disaster risk reduction into public development planning and practice. The chapter also provides descriptions of the research location, approaches of the study, and the structure of this book.
Throughout April/May of 2009 a new type of virus surfaced in Mexico and the USA, denominated H1N1 or swine flu, that has been immediately disseminated worldwide. Even…
Throughout April/May of 2009 a new type of virus surfaced in Mexico and the USA, denominated H1N1 or swine flu, that has been immediately disseminated worldwide. Even though the mortality of this virus has been slow, comparing with other antecedents, the mass‐media articulated a troublesome discourse that put the world in tenterhooks waiting for the evolution of the symptoms. Emulating the mythical archetype of what we knew as Spanish flu, which affected more than 50 million people during 1918 and 1920, journalism triggered panic in the four corners of the world. Under such a context, the purpose of this paper is to explore the connection between the coverage of mass‐media and press of swine flu in Buenos Aires (Argentina), and how the principle of resilience in this conjuncture works.
In order to understand this issue in an all‐encompassed manner, the author conducted ethnography in Buenos Aires during April to June of 2009 combining informal with formal interviews and analysis of contents extracted of press coverage. It is important to mention that the role of observer was hidden to capture vividly the social behaviour as long as a context of health emergency.
The findings of this research reveal that fear becomes an efficient instrument to keep the status quo in context of disasters. In addition, it is important to clarify that virtual disasters do not permit societies to learn of their tragedies and affects considerably their abilities for resilience.
Unfortunately, there is no abundant literature to support the outcomes of the present paper in respect to swine flu. Beyond ethical boundaries of journalism, the point of discussion, here, seems to be whether news should be edited or transmitted in rough during a moment of uncertainty. As a whole, the debate is circumscribed to non‐edited news which can result in uncontrollable society response, while edited news jeopardizes the freedom of the press.
This paper provides an original point of view that contrasts the thesis of Baudrillard in respect to the spectacle of disaster. The panic disseminated by media blurs the boundaries between culprit and innocence presenting to the poorest sectors as the main concerns of society. That way, the earlier imbalances that allowed the disasters are replicated once again. In contrast with Baudrillard, this paper considers that Swine flu really took place and was something other than a show. An event like this, elaborated and commercialized is of course, aimed at reinforcing the legitimacy of privileged groups.
The area of disaster studies is plagued by dubious statistical data and widespread conceptual disagreements. This is the major focus of discussion in the paper. We detail…
The area of disaster studies is plagued by dubious statistical data and widespread conceptual disagreements. This is the major focus of discussion in the paper. We detail the limitations in much of the numerical data that are both specifically and generally used in discussions of disasters. Factors that are responsible for this, including inadequate conceptualizations about disasters are discussed. We also show that there is not much consensus by researchers and others about many of the most central concepts used such as “disaster”, “hazards,” “risk,” etc. In our call for more reliable statistics and more relevant concepts, we provide examples and suggestions of how this could be done.