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ERIC Number: ED552714
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 206
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2679-8668-9
Situated Preparedness: The Negotiation of a Future Catastrophic Earthquake in a California University
Baker, Natalie Danielle
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Irvine
This dissertation examines disaster preparedness as engaged at a large university in southern California using inductive research and grounded theory data collection and analysis methods. The thesis consists of three parts, all addressing the problem of disaster preparedness as enacted in this at-risk context. I use in-depth interviews, archival analysis of disaster planning materials, and observation of preparedness activities to answer my research questions. Part one of the dissertation asks what preparedness means for both staff and graduate students at the university. I observe how interpretations shape action or inaction in the face of a potential catastrophe and develop the notion of traditional preparedness as composed of two aspects; the collection and storage of material objects, resources, knowledge, and plans and imagined successful response to future scenarios. The two aspects are highly moderated by major dimensions of trust; faith in infrastructure continuity and trust in reproducible realities. These notions of trust impede people's preparedness practices on both organizational and individual levels. The second part distinguishes 'situated preparedness' from traditional preparedness and examines how it is enacted in the study context through two sets of action categories. Explicit practices are the traditional planning actions people engaged in accordance with official recommendations. In contrast, implicit practices are the taken for granted activities and resources people use in everyday life with the potential to help people in response to disaster. I categorize these practices and develop a new conceptualization of preparedness as carried out through an interaction and action blending between the sets of practices, modified through dynamic aspects of context. The final part of the dissertation presents official and unofficial narratives of preparedness. I identify important sources of disconnection between students and staff rooted in the expectation of personal responsibility and compliance in disaster preparedness when response is largely a situational and collective effort. I outline a situated approach to help facilitate preparedness-engaged processes for both sets of actors, acknowledging both groups as experts of their own context, and bridging gaps identified in this section of research. The dissertation as a whole constructs preparedness as a situated, collaborative effort, designed to build on the inherent resilience of both sets of actors in bridging identified disconnections. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California