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Title: Why are natural disasters not 'natural' for victims?

Abstract

Some type of formal or informal social assessment is often carried out in the wake of natural disasters. One often-observed phenomenon in such situations is that disaster victims and their sympathizers tend to focus on those elements of disasters that might have been avoided or mitigated by human intervention and thus assign 'undue' levels of responsibility to human agents. Often the responsibility or blame is directed at the very government agencies charged with helping people cope with and recover from the event. This phenomenon presents particular challenges for those trying to understand the social impacts of such events because of the reflexive nature of such analysis. Often the social analyst or even the government agency manager must sort through such perceptions and behavior and (at least implicitly) make judgments about which assignments of responsibility may have some validity and which are largely the result of the psychology of the disaster itself. This article presents a conceptual framework derived largely from social psychology to help develop a better understand such perceptions and behavior. While no 'magic bullet' formula for evaluating the validity of disaster victims' claims is presented, the conceptual framework is presented as a starting point for understanding this particularmore » aspect of the psychology of natural disasters.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3]
  1. Akita International University, Yuwa-machi, Akita (Japan)
  2. Department of Psychology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97332 (United States)
  3. Department of Natural Resource Sciences, Washington State University, Johnson Hall 183, P.O. Box 646410, Pullman, WA 99164 (United States). E-mail: carroll@mail.wsu.edu
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20783319
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Environmental Impact Assessment Review
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 26; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: DOI: 10.1016/j.eiar.2004.06.013; PII: S0195-9255(04)00096-4; Copyright (c) 2004 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Journal ID: ISSN 0195-9255
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS; HUMAN POPULATIONS; NATURAL DISASTERS; SOCIAL IMPACT; SOCIO-ECONOMIC FACTORS

Citation Formats

Kumagai, Yoshitaka, Edwards, John, and Carroll, Matthew S. Why are natural disasters not 'natural' for victims?. United States: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.1016/j.eiar.2004.06.013.
Kumagai, Yoshitaka, Edwards, John, & Carroll, Matthew S. Why are natural disasters not 'natural' for victims?. United States. doi:10.1016/j.eiar.2004.06.013.
Kumagai, Yoshitaka, Edwards, John, and Carroll, Matthew S. Sun . "Why are natural disasters not 'natural' for victims?". United States. doi:10.1016/j.eiar.2004.06.013.
@article{osti_20783319,
title = {Why are natural disasters not 'natural' for victims?},
author = {Kumagai, Yoshitaka and Edwards, John and Carroll, Matthew S.},
abstractNote = {Some type of formal or informal social assessment is often carried out in the wake of natural disasters. One often-observed phenomenon in such situations is that disaster victims and their sympathizers tend to focus on those elements of disasters that might have been avoided or mitigated by human intervention and thus assign 'undue' levels of responsibility to human agents. Often the responsibility or blame is directed at the very government agencies charged with helping people cope with and recover from the event. This phenomenon presents particular challenges for those trying to understand the social impacts of such events because of the reflexive nature of such analysis. Often the social analyst or even the government agency manager must sort through such perceptions and behavior and (at least implicitly) make judgments about which assignments of responsibility may have some validity and which are largely the result of the psychology of the disaster itself. This article presents a conceptual framework derived largely from social psychology to help develop a better understand such perceptions and behavior. While no 'magic bullet' formula for evaluating the validity of disaster victims' claims is presented, the conceptual framework is presented as a starting point for understanding this particular aspect of the psychology of natural disasters.},
doi = {10.1016/j.eiar.2004.06.013},
journal = {Environmental Impact Assessment Review},
issn = {0195-9255},
number = 1,
volume = 26,
place = {United States},
year = {2006},
month = {1}
}