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Historical Disasters In Context

Author: Andrea JANKU
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136476253
Size: 32.30 MB
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Growing concerns about climate change and the increasing occurrence of ever more devastating natural disasters in some parts of the world and their consequences for human life, not only in the immediately affected regions, but for all of us, have increased our desire to learn more about disaster experiences in the past. How did disaster experiences impact on the development of modern sciences in the early modern era? Why did religion continue to play such an important role in the encounter with disasters, despite the strong trend towards secularization in the modern world? What was the political role of disasters? Historical Disasters in Context illustrates how past societies coped with a threatening environment, how societies changed in response to disaster experiences, and how disaster experiences were processed and communicated, both locally and globally. Particular emphasis is put on the realms of science, religion, and politics. International case studies demonstrate that while there are huge differences across cultures in the way people and societies responded to disasters, there are also many commonalities and interactions between different cultures that have the potential to alter the ways people prepare for and react to disasters in future. To explain these relationships and highlight their significance is the purpose of this volume.

Historical Disaster Experiences

Author: Gerrit Jasper Schenk
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319491636
Size: 72.19 MB
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Historical disaster research is still a young field. This book discusses the experiences of natural disasters in different cultures, from Europe across the Near East to Asia. It focuses on the pre-industrial era and on the question of similarities, differences and transcultural dynamics in the cultural handling of natural disasters. Which long-lasting cultural patterns of perception, interpretation and handling of disasters can be determined? Have specific types of disasters changed the affected societies? What have people learned from disasters and what not? What adaptation and coping strategies existed? Which natural, societal and economic parameters play a part? The book not only reveals the historical depth of present practices, but also reveals possible comparisons that show globalization processes, entanglements and exchanges of ideas and practices in pre-modern times.

American Disasters

Author: Steven Biel
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814713467
Size: 10.11 MB
Format: PDF
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Long after the dead have been buried, and lives and property rebuilt, the social and cultural impact of disasters lingers. Examining immediate and long term responses to such disasters as the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and the Challenger explosion, American Disasters explores what natural and man made catastrophes reveal about the societies in which they occur. Ranging widely, essayists here examine the 1900 storm that ravaged Galveston, Texas, the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the Titanic sinking, the Northridge earthquake, the crash of Air Florida Flight 90, the 1977 Chicago El train crash, and many other devastating events. These catastrophes elicited vastly different responses, and thus raise a number of important questions. How, for example did African Americans, feminists, and labor activists respond to the Titanic disaster? Why did the El train crash take on such symbolic meaning for the citizens of Chicago? In what ways did the San Francisco earthquake reaffirm rather than challenge a predominant faith in progress? Taken together, these essays explain how and why disasters are transformative, how people make sense of them, how they function as social dramas during which communities and the nation think aloud about themselves and their direction. Contributors include Carl Smith, Duane A. Gill, Ann Larabee, J. Steven Picou, and Ted Steinberg.

Hazards Risks And Disasters In Society

Author: Andrew E. Collins
Publisher: Elsevier
ISBN: 0123964741
Size: 70.34 MB
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View: 2014
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Hazards, Risks, and Disasters in Society provides analyses of environmentally related catastrophes within society in historical, political and economic contexts. Personal and corporate culture mediates how people may become more vulnerable or resilient to hazard exposure. Societies that strengthen themselves, or are strengthened, mitigate decline and resultant further exposure to what are largely human induced risks of environmental, social and economic degradation. This book outlines why it is important to explore in more depth the relationships between environmental hazards, risk and disasters in society. It presents challenges presented by mainstream and non-mainstream approaches to the human side of disaster studies. By hazard categories this book includes critical processes and outcomes that significantly disrupt human wellbeing over brief or long time-frames. Whilst hazards, risks and disasters impact society, individuals, groups, institutions and organisations offset the effects by becoming strong, healthy, resilient, caring and creative. Innovations can arise from social organisation in times of crisis. This volume includes much of use to practitioners and policy makers needing to address both prevention and response activities. Notably, as people better engage prevalent hazards and risks they exercise a process that has become known as disaster risk reduction (DRR). In a context of climatic risks this is also indicative of climate change adaptation (CCA). Ultimately it represents the quest for development of sustainable environmental and societal futures. Throughout the book cases studies are derived from the world of hazards risks and disasters in society. Includes sections on prevention of and response to hazards, risks and disasters Provides case studies of prominent societal challenges of hazards, risks and disasters Innovative approaches to dealing with disaster drawing from multiple disciplines and sectors

Natural Disasters Cultural Responses

Author: Christof Mauch
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 0739134612
Size: 31.11 MB
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Catastrophes, it seems, are becoming more frequent in the twenty-first century. According to UN statistics, every year approximately two hundred million people are directly affected by natural disasters_seven times the number of people who are affected by war. Discussions about global warming and fatal disasters such as Katrina and the Tsunami of 2004 have heightened our awareness of natural disasters and of their impact on both local and global communities. Hollywood has also produced numerous disaster movies in recent years, some of which have become blockbusters. This volume demonstrates that natural catastrophes_earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, etc._have exercised a vast impact on humans throughout history and in almost every part of the world. It argues that human attitudes toward catastrophes have changed over time. Surprisingly, this has not necessarily led to a reduction of exposure or risk. The organization of the book resembles a journey around the globe_from Europe to North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, and from the Pacific through South America and Mexico to the United States. While natural disasters appear everywhere on the globe, different cultures, societies, and nations have adopted specific styles for coping with disaster. Indeed, how humans deal with catastrophes depends largely on social and cultural patterns, values, religious belief systems, political institutions, and economic structures. The roles that catastrophes play in society and the meanings they are given vary from one region to the next; they differ_and this is one of the principal arguments of this book_from one cultural, political, and geographic space to the next. The essays collected here help us to understand not only how people in different times throughout history have learned to cope with disaster but also how humans in different parts of the world have developed specific cultural, social, and technological strategies for doing so.

Building Resilience

Author: Daniel P. Aldrich
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226012891
Size: 29.18 MB
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Each year, natural disasters threaten the strength and stability of communities worldwide. Yet responses to the challenges of recovery vary greatly and in ways that aren’t explained by the magnitude of the catastrophe or the amount of aid provided by national governments or the international community. The difference between resilience and disrepair, as Daniel P. Aldrich shows, lies in the depth of communities’ social capital. Building Resilience highlights the critical role of social capital in the ability of a community to withstand disaster and rebuild both the infrastructure and the ties that are at the foundation of any community. Aldrich examines the post-disaster responses of four distinct communities—Tokyo following the 1923 earthquake, Kobe after the 1995 earthquake, Tamil Nadu after the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, and New Orleans post-Katrina—and finds that those with robust social networks were better able to coordinate recovery. In addition to quickly disseminating information and financial and physical assistance, communities with an abundance of social capital were able to minimize the migration of people and valuable resources out of the area. With governments increasingly overstretched and natural disasters likely to increase in frequency and intensity, a thorough understanding of what contributes to efficient reconstruction is more important than ever. Building Resilience underscores a critical component of an effective response.

The Disaster Experts

Author: Scott Gabriel Knowles
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 9780812207996
Size: 23.41 MB
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In the wake of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, many are asking what, if anything, can be done to prevent large-scale disasters. How is it that we know more about the hazards of modern American life than ever before, yet the nation faces ever-increasing losses from such events? History shows that disasters are not simply random acts. Where is the logic in creating an elaborate set of fire codes for buildings, and then allowing structures like the Twin Towers—tall, impressive, and risky—to go up as design experiments? Why prepare for terrorist attacks above all else when floods, fires, and earthquakes pose far more consistent threats to American life and prosperity? The Disaster Experts takes on these questions, offering historical context for understanding who the experts are that influence these decisions, how they became powerful, and why they are only slightly closer today than a decade ago to protecting the public from disasters. Tracing the intertwined development of disaster expertise, public policy, and urbanization over the past century, historian Scott Gabriel Knowles tells the fascinating story of how this diverse collection of professionals—insurance inspectors, engineers, scientists, journalists, public officials, civil defense planners, and emergency managers—emerged as the authorities on risk and disaster and, in the process, shaped modern America.

There Is No Such Thing As A Natural Disaster

Author: Gregory Squires
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136084827
Size: 33.86 MB
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There is No Such Thing as a Natural Disaster is the first comprehensive critical book on the catastrophic impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans. The disaster will go down on record as one of the worst in American history, not least because of the government’s inept and cavalier response. But it is also a huge story for other reasons; the impact of the hurricane was uneven, and race and class were deeply implicated in the unevenness. Hartman and. Squires assemble two dozen critical scholars and activists who present a multifaceted portrait of the social implications of the disaster. The book covers the response to the disaster and the roles that race and class played, its impact on housing and redevelopment, the historical context of urban disasters in America and the future of economic development in the region. It offers strategic guidance for key actors - government agencies, financial institutions, neighbourhood organizations - in efforts to rebuild shattered communities.

Hurricanes And Society In The British Greater Caribbean 1624 1783

Author: Matthew Mulcahy
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 0801898978
Size: 34.70 MB
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By integrating the West Indies into the larger story of British Atlantic colonization, Mulcahy's work contributes to early American history, Atlantic history, environmental history, and the growing field of disaster studies.