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    Conventional Beliefs and Counterintuitive Realities
    (The New School for Social Research, 2008) Quarantelli, E. L.
    This paper discusses major myths and widely held incorrect beliefs about individual and group behaviors in disaster contexts. Why can we categorize such views as invalid? Because now there has been more than half a century of systematic social science studies (and an earlier half century of less well known scattered works) that have established the actual parameters of the behavior of individuals and groups in natural and technological disaster situations (for recent summaries of the extensive research literature, see Lindell, Perry, and Prater, 2006; National Research Council, 2006; and Rodriguez, Quarantelli, and Dynes, 2006). All is not known, and serious gaps remain in knowledge about important topics, but we are at this time far beyond just educated guesses on many dimensions of the relevant behaviors. Our focus is on six different behavioral aspects of disasters, primarily occurring around the impact time period of such crises. Stated in just a few words, we look at panic flight and at antisocial looting behavior, supposed passivity in emergencies, role conflict and abandonment, severe mental health consequences, and the locus of whatever problems surface. We present what is often assumed, believed, or stated on these matters—at least in popular discourse and to a varying extent in policy, planning, and operational circles—as over against what study and research has found.
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    Origin and History of the International Research Committee on Disasters (RC-39)
    (International Research Committee on Disasters, 2009) Quarantelli, E. L.
    This version of the origin and history of RC-39 was prepared by E. L. Quarantelli, President Emeritus of the RC-39 and Professor Emeritus, University of Delaware (USA). The RC-39 developed out of the fact that sociologists predominated in the pioneering stage of disaster studies.
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    The Structure of Disaster Research: Its Policy and Disciplinary Implications
    (Research Committee on Disasters, International Sociological Association, 1994-03) Dynes, Russell R.; Drabek, Thomas E.
    The context of sociological research on disaster is discussed by the various settings in which the research tradition has developed. In addi­tion, both funders and users of that research are identified. It is suggested that the most important policy use of disaster research has been to change the conceptualization of disaster. While no specific study can be directly tied to particular policy changes, the overall research tradition has had a transforming effect. That transformation is, of course, more obvious in some societies than in others. In the future, it is suggested that increased attention will be given to disaster preparedness and planning because of more and worse disasters. This means that social science research will continue to thrive because of its potential utility in problem solving. However, future research will be increasingly cast in interdisciplinary terms. Given the reluctance to support basic research, the relationship between applied research and the core disciplines will become more problematic.
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    Converting Disaster Scholarship into Effective Disaster Planning and Managing: Possibilities and Limitations
    (Research Committee on Disasters, International Sociological Association, 1993-03) Quarantelli, E. L.
    I have spent most of my professional life since the 1950s doing research on the social aspects of disasters. This social science research in which I have participated, is of course part of a much larger body of studies undertaken in the last 40 years, could be characterized in a whole variety of ways as to findings, motifs, implications, uses, etc. But there is one theme that runs through the bulk of the work that has been done up to now: according to research findings much of what is generally believed about disaster related individual and group behavior is not true or correct. As I and others have phrased it, we are embedded in a great number of misconceptions or myths about behavior in disasters. This disaster mythology clearly does not make for effective planning for or managing of such crisis occasions.
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    Improving Theory and Research on Hazard Mitigation: Political Economy and Organizational Perspectives
    (Research Committee on Disasters, International Sociological Association, 1989-11) Tierney, Kathleen J.
    This paper opens with a discussion of the progress that has been made to date in research and theory on mitigation. It goes on to suggest approaches that, by addressing neglected aspects of mitigation-related issues, may improve our understanding of the topic. Woven through the paper are calls for several shifts in emphasis with respect to studies on mitigation: (1) from a social system, consensus model to a conflict model on society and community; (2) from an event-based, discontinuous concept of disaster and mitigation to a view that stresses the continuity between ongoing social life and the disruption occasioned by natural and technological agents; (3) from the study of the social consequences of disasters to the study of aspects of the social order that increase risk and lead to disasters; and (4) from an individualistic, social psychological approach to mitigation to a perspective that takes into account macro­level social phenomena.
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    Conceptualizing Disasters from a Sociological Perspective
    (Research Committee on Disasters, International Sociological Association, 1989-11) Quarantelli, E. L.
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    The NORC Research on the Arkansas Tornado: A Fountainhead Study
    (Research Committee on Disasters, International Sociological Association, 1988-11) Quarantelli, E. L.
    In this review and analysis of the research effort in the disaster area by NORC [National Opinion Research Center] we shall present: (1) the general background of the work; (2)the nature of the field research undertaken; (3) a selective summary of the substantive focus and findings from the largest single field study within the NORC work, namely on the Arkansas tornado; (4) a brief overall assessment of the research done, and (5) some of the important consequences of what NORC did in the disaster area.
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    Cross-Cultural International Research: Sociology and Disaster
    (Research Committee on Disasters, International Sociological Association, 1988-08) Dynes, Russell R.
    Early cross-cultural studies of disaster responses are sum­marized to provide a context for recent collaborative efforts. Many of these have been initiated by researchers from the United States who have joined colleagues in numerous other countries to standardize measurement instruments and as­sess aspects of the public response. These efforts have high­lighted definitional, theoretical, and methodological difficulties which are being addressed in current studies. Finally, current policy developments are described that may encourage future research that is cross-societal in focus and collaborative in implementation.
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    What Should We Study? Questions and Suggestions for Researchers About the Concept of Disasters
    (Research Committee on Disasters, International Sociological Association, 1987-03) Quarantelli, E. L.
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    Local and National Media Coverage of Disaster: A Content Analysis of the Print Media's Treatment of Disaster Myths
    (Research Committee on Disasters, International Sociological Association, 1986-11) Wenger, Dennis; Friedman, Barbara
    Based on newspaper coverage for four disasters-two within the U.S.A., one in Algeria, and one in Italy - Goltz (1984) concluded that generally the media do not present images of maladaptive behavior or disaster myths. This article reexamines Goltz's findings, presents additional relevant data from media coverage of Hurricane Alicia and dissects several important methodological issues. Our conclusion is a counterpoint observation that the mass communication system does contain mythical elements.
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    Blame Assignment in a Diffuse Disaster Situation: A Case Example of the Role of an Emergent Citizen Group
    (Research Committee on Disasters, International Sociological Association, 1984-08) Neal, David M.
    Blame occurs frequently after disaster, yet, the process of blame is a neglected topic of disaster research. Our study looks at how a grassroots citizen's group blamed a local company for air pollution and health problems. The blaming process directed toward the company aided in the mobilization of the citizen's group but also prevented any immediate issue-oriented actions. As blame directed toward the company decreased within the group, solidarity within the group decreased. Yet, as blame decreased within the group, issue-oriented actions by the group increased. The placement of blame by the group had both positive and negative consequences for their goals. Comparing this case with other studies of blame in disaster, we found: 1) placing blame does not lead to structural changes in the social system, 2) organizations can be the focus of blame, and 3) only one target of blame can exist. In addition, we suggest that the type of disaster (diffuse or focalized, and technological or natural) may have an impact upon who or what becomes the target of blame.
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    Methodology of Studying Disasters
    (SAGE Publications Limited, 1970) Drabek, Thomas E.
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    Editors' Introduction
    (SAGE Publications Limited, 1970) Quarantelli, E. L.; Dynes, Russell R.
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    What Looting in Civil Disturbances Really Means
    (Washington University in St. Louis, 1968-05) Dynes, Russell R.; Quarantelli, E. L.
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    Looting in Civil Disorders: An Index of Social Change
    (Sage Publications LTD, 1968-03) Quarantelli, E. L.; Dynes, Russell R.
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    Community Emergency Planning: False Assumptions and Inappropriate Analogies
    (International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, 1994) Dynes, Russell R.
    Community emergency planning had its roots in military analogies which viewed emergencies as extensions of "enemy attack" scenarios. Such thinking was embedded in early structural arrangements and was generalized as the appropriate normative model for all emergencies. This model viewed emergencies as conditions of social chaos which could be rectified by command and control. It is argued here that such a view is inadequate based on a knowledge of behavior in emergencies and the model is dysfunctional for planning. A more adequate model is presented, based on conditions of continuity, coordination and cooperation. This problem solving model, based on research rather than military analogies, provides a more adequate set of assumptions as the basis for planning. However, legislative and technological "improvements" often make emergency planning more rigid and increasingly inadequate.
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    Disaster Studies: The Consequences of the Historical Use of a Sociological Approach in the Development of Research
    (1994-03) Quarantelli, E. L.
    An earlier article discussing the initial days of disaster studies noted that the roots of the area in the applied concerns of research funders led to a pattern of how research was done and what was studied that still prevails today. However, this paper stresses that a certain sociological orientation and particular sociological ideas implicitly came to permeate much of the early work and many of the observations and findings made. We also indicate that the research approach, initiated with a mixture of applied concerns and basic sociological questions, has had up to now primarily functional consequences on the development of the field of study of disasters. But the paper concludes with a statement that the field currently needs a fundamental reconceptualization of disaster. It is argued that the impetus for that is more likely to come out of a questioning of basic ideas as well as the growing internationalization of disaster studies than from practical concerns.
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    Disaster Studies: An Analysis of the Social Historical Factors Affecting the Development of Research in the Area
    (1987-11) Quarantelli, E. L.
    Almost nothing has been written about the social historical emergence and development of social and behavioral research on disasters. This paper provides a description and a sociology of scientific knowledge analysis of the factors affecting the initiation of studies in the area in the United States. First, we note how disaster research on group and behavioral aspects of disasters had their roots, almost exclusively, in rather narrowly focused applied questions or practical concerns. Second, we point out how this led to certain kinds of selective emphases in terms of what and how the research was undertaken in the pioneering days, but with substantive consequences which we still see operative today.
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    A Methodology For Assessing The Risk Of Hazardous Materials Release Following Earthquakes - A Demonstration Study For The Los Angeles Area
    (1992) Seligson, Hope; Eguchi, Ronald; Tierney, Kathleen J.
    A methodology for estimating the risk of earthquake induced hazardous materials releases was developed for the National Science Foundation and the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research. Seismic hazard analyses, fragility modeling for facilities handling hazardous materials and data on airborne materials releases were used in the development of the methodology. The risk was estimated in terms of population within the study area exposed to hazardous materials as a result of a postulated earthquake event. The procedure was developed to be used as a tool by communities interested in regional hazard management. In order to demonstrate the methodology, Los Angeles County was selected as a study area. Population data was integrated into the methodology to predict the population exposure to hazardous materials releases for three earthquake scenarios: a Magnitude 8+ event on the San Andreas fault, a Magnitude 7 event on the Newport- Inglewood fault, and a Magnitude 5.9 simulation of the 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake.
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    Role Simplification In Disaster
    (1986) Dynes, Russell R.; Quarantelli, E. L.