It is my belief that the attachment of positive interpretations to the tragedy and horror of the Joplin tornado, and the repetition of such themes through continuous narration, directly affected community ethos. This, in turn, helped further select the features of the collective narrative shared with the nation through national news. The national attention to Joplin, spurred those wanting to help in the wake of such devastation and those in admiration of the community’s own resilience to volunteer time and resources to the recovery effort. Cast as an all-American city in the Heartland of the nation, the positive ethos and determination demonstrated by Joplin citizens transformed the community’s identity from a virtually-unknown place in Missouri to a symbol of the nation, a transformation further encouraged through the wording of public statements by President Obama and Governor Nixon as well as featuring Joplin on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and other television shows. To the nation, Joplin became a place amid an undifferentiated region, except to locals, known as fly-over states.
Theoretical Implications 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