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ERIC Number: EJ829686
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 90
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7732
Rethinking the Nature of Disaster: From Failed Instruments of Learning to a Post-Social Understanding
Williams, Stewart
Social Forces, v87 n2 p1115-1138 Dec 2008
Recent disasters have been of such scale and complexity that both the common assumptions made about learning from them, and the traditional approaches distinguishing natural from technological disasters (and now terrorism) are thus challenged. Beck's risk thesis likewise signals the need for a paradigmatic change. Despite sociological inflections in disaster research and management, however, an examination of the risk management practices deployed during Hurricane Katrina and the Indian Ocean tsunami reveals attendant problems with a persistent instrumental rationality and disjuncture between society and environment. Therefore, an alternative, post-social understanding is proposed. It includes relational (rather than instrumental) approaches which reinstate the importance of nonhuman nature, but it also recognizes that disasters are post-normal problems, and that disaster research and management increasingly deal with phenomena beyond the limits of current know-how. (Contains 8 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A