With reference to various examples, discuss how ‘natural’ disasters are socially constructed.
While natural disasters such as floods, drought and hurricanes are commonly thought to occur due to environmental forces such as weather, climate and tectonic movements; a deeper investigation into the ‘disaster’ displays other contributing forces. Human factors have a large, if not equal, contribution to the occurrance and outcome of such disasters (Pelling, 2001). As Pelling (2001) argues, there is both a physical and human dimension to ‘natural disasters’. The extent to which the natural occurrence of a physical process, such as a flood or earthquake, impacts on society is constructed by that society, creating a ‘disaster’ as measured by a …show more content…
As the Marxist approach puts it, “underlying states of human marginalisation are conceived as the principle cause of disaster.” (Pelling, 2001, p. 179). This resource exclusion to particular categories of people within society creates their vulnerability to risk, and in turn disaster. McLaughlin and Dietz (2007) suggest there are three dimensions that make up vulnerability including exposure, sensitivity and resilience. An example displaying the vulnerability of lower classed social categories is in North Bihar, India, where floods have been managed through engineering works to create embankments. While the Government appears to be reducing the hazard, this has increased the vulnerability of the local people. Soil fertility has decreased reducing agricultural success, dangerous flash floods are occurring due to embankment walls collapsing and communities have settled on apparently safe embankments and are now highly exposed (Pelling, 2001). The natural flood hazard was dangerous, but these works by society have created a natural disaster (Pelling, 2001). Power inequalities have created this disastrous situation where lower classes are at high exposure to floods due to profit hungry management bodies. This technological approach is clearly failing but the Government and other managing groups make large profits off flood engineering works and have the power to decide how to control the issue (Pelling, 2001). This has resulted in creating
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A natural disaster has the capability to cause large scale damage and destruction to an area. Seismic events have been known to alter landscapes and affect the livelihoods, health and development of communities. No two earthquake events are the same and the level of threat posed by an earthquake can vary due to both the human and physical factors of an area. The 2010 magnitude - 7.0 earthquake that occurred in Haiti is an example of where a natural disaster caused a previously vulnerable area to suffer tremendous loss and debilitating socio-economic impacts, to an already poverty-stricken nation.
All disasters are either natural or man-made. Majority of the United States’ most costly disasters have been natural disasters (Steinberg, 2006). Ted Steinberg, an environmental historian, uses Acts of God to analyze how American interference with nature intensifies the harmfulness of natural disasters. Steinberg (2006), states “those in power have tended to view these events as purely natural in an effort to justify a set of responses that has proved both environmentally unsound, and socially, if not morally, bankrupt”(p.19). This book selectively exhibits solid facts pertaining to specific natural disasters; namely hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes. In this manner, Steinberg attempts to persuade readers of the idea that natural disasters are not outside of human control or consequence. The idea of an “act of God” was initially from the idea that natural disasters were a result of punishment for sin (Steinberg, 2006). When Americans started to venture from the idea of natural disasters being a result of human actions, the assumption arose that natural disasters were without human culpability.
Natural disasters are a part of our lives as humans. If you’ve never been in one then you've probably heard of one or been taught about one. There effects are devastating and tragic. Those who are lost in such unexpected ways are some of the most memorable and mourned. Though disasters may be more prominent in some places, such a Haiti, they are not specific to one place, rather found all over the world and endured by many. Throughout Leonard Pitts article Sometimes the Earth is Cruel, the idea that the Earth is undeniably, unwaveringly, and inescapably cruel is an important and prevalent theme.
Disasters are totalizing events, impacting and influencing every aspect of a community when they occur. As the anthropology of disaster grows, both in the number of publications and the number of researchers, the scope of topics related to disasters will also grow. Economic implications, vulnerable populations, and human ecology already contribute heavily to the
Natural disasters are the catastrophes cause by “Mother Nature”, which is often difficult to forecast or manage (Morrison, et al 2014). Examples of
Distressing natural disasters, such as hurricane Irma have devastated the world and caused loss of homes, as well as greatly affecting humanity. According to French Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe of St. Martin, “95 percent of the island’s houses had been damaged and 60 percent were uninhabitable. Earlier, France's interior minister said at least eight people had died.” This devastating hurricane is one of the many examples of how extreme natural disasters negatively impact the world and how dominant Mother Nature is over humanity.
Disasters, whether natural or manmade, can happen anytime and anywhere, without warning. An earthquake, hurricane, tornado, fire, or hazardous material spill or even an act of terrorism can happen
Indeed, natural disasters are uncontrollable, dangerous, and terrifying in the sea as well as land. These horrible events change our lives, our creations including homes, and most noticeably the Earth. Even though we can not manage what nature brings or does
There are tons of natural phenomenon. Such things as landslides, earthquakes, volcanoes, meteors, and floods. Today in this article the two topics of Meteors and floods will be the main focus. These disasters can change the earth an astronomical amount. For meteors such things as their craters and their effects on the climate. Floods are more of a tricky subject, but their main effects on the Earth are the effects of erosion and the aftermath of environmental consequences.
Natural disasters throughout the world are very frightening although there might be reasons to look at them in a different perspective? How you may ask, seeing homes and hundreds of people panic for their lives is all a natural reaction because we don’t know what to do for the most part. However there are other ways into viewing these disasters not only as that nature stops by a decides to struck a certain place on earth but, that we have a partial responsibility in these disasters. We all influence how earth's environments work and how we treat it eventually builds up and causes natural disasters. For the most part literature can give you a whole different perspective on natural disasters.
Natural Disaster can occur at any place and any giving time without much of a warning. With a Natural Disaster taking place the best way to be ready for a Natural Disaster is to know about them and how they occur. In “Natural Disaster Facts” it says, “A natural disaster is the consequence of the combination of a natural hazard (physical event like a volcanic eruption, typhoon, tropical cyclone, tornadoes and earthquakes, a landslide or a tsunami) and human activities”. Many of these Natural Disasters cannot be predicted but knowing the environment can help us with whatever Mother Nature throws our way.
In his book, “What is a disaster?” Quarantelli asked five researchers with different social science background (Gilbert, Dombrowsky, Kreps, Porfiriev and Horlick-Jones) to define the term disaster. Unsurprisingly, all the scholars defined disasters differently (Rosenthal, 1998). For instance, Kreps defined disasters as: “non-routine events in societies or their larger subsystems (e.g. regions, communities) that involve social disruption or physical harm” (Kreps, 1998:34).
As we all know there were a few natural disasters during 2017. Just to name a few, let's start with Hurricane Harvey which forced thousands of residents from their homes in the state of Texas in addtion to leaving many stranded without power and/or clean drinking water. Next, another disaster occured in the state of Florida where residents there also had to evacuate, particurlaly coastal areas due to their proximity to flood zones are being located percisely in a highly possible area to flood. These events really left many families in a uneasy position that will take time to redeem. As the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) acknowledges these horrific events leaving Tax Payers in an economic disarray, relief is provided.
A disaster is a highly disruptive event that causes suffering, hardship, injury, and even death (Anderson & McFarlane, 2015). A disaster can cause interruptions in businesses, and can cause partial or total destruction to infrastructure, such as homes or hospitals (Anderson & McFarlane, 2015). A disaster can cause downed power lines, loss of transportation, loss of food, and sanitation problems. Disasters are caused by naturally occurring events or man-made events. Examples of naturally occurring disasters are earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes. Man-made disasters are accidental, unintentional, or deliberately caused (Anderson & McFarlane, 2015). An accidental man-made disaster example would be a toxic spill, or a nuclear power plant event. A deliberately caused man-made disaster would be a terrorist attack, school violence, or a bombing. Certain types of natural disasters are more likely to occur in certain areas than others. For instance, areas along the coastline are more likely to experience a hurricane than areas more inland. Every place one can live is prone to having a natural disaster occur. Also, a man-made disaster can happen anywhere; no place is safe from the threat of terrorism. In my community of Mt. Lebanon, the biggest natural disaster that has happened was flooding. About fifteen years ago, Mt. Lebanon had a terroristic attack. The terroristic attack was a deliberate man-made disaster. A man went on a racially motivated crime spree, killing five