Evaluating the Potential for Culture Change After a Disaster: An Anthropological Perspective

Harwood, Stephanie L. (2010) Evaluating the Potential for Culture Change After a Disaster: An Anthropological Perspective. [Abstract]

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Disaster and the long term affects that societies experience are imperative to the understanding of how cultures operate and change. Disaster research can be analyzed using historical and contemporary examples. By adopting the work of Susanna M. Hoffman and using her five factor set of criteria, researchers on-the-ground and in academia can analyze how cultures will change due to (1) the magnitude of the disaster, (2) the amount of the population affected, (3) the amount of the infrastructure affected, (4) the impact on the deep structure of the society, and (5) how long these areas have been studied, to understand how culture has changed over time. By applying these five factors to historical examples, such as the Black Plague of medieval Europe, and the Potato Famine of Ireland, along with the more recent example of the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka, we can evaluate post-disaster culture change. Through my research I have found that the magnitude of the disaster is directly correlated to the amount of social change that will occur in a society that is affected by disaster. By applying these five factors to the recent disaster in Haiti, researchers can use Hoffman’s five factors to better understand the situation there, which will in turn help with the distribution of aid and enable rebuilding.

Item Type: Abstract
Created by Student or Faculty: Student
Additional Information: 5th Annual Natural & Behavioral Sciences Undergraduate Research Symposium Program
Uncontrolled Keywords: Human Beings -- Effect Of Environment On, Vulnerability, Social Aspects, Natural Disasters, Diseases, Economic Aspects, Disasters -- Social Aspects, Resilience (personality Trait), Psychic Trauma, Environmental Disasters, Cultural Geography, Culture Change
Subjects: School of Natural and Behavioral Sciences > Anthropology
NBS Symposium
Depositing User: Alejandro Marquez
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2013 08:43
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2013 08:43
URI: http://eprints.fortlewis.edu/id/eprint/398

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