Strengthening Post Disaster Mitigation: A Sociological Perspective

Dynes, Russell R.
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Disaster Research Center
Often a title of a paper is not a sufficient guide to its content. However, within the title there is some indication that there is some “sociological” perspective concerning post-disaster mitigation. In most interdisciplinary conferences, it is somehow assumed that a “sociologist” is a defender of people. And people are usually seen as being problematic to any cherished or planned post-disaster activity. Of the assumption is made that certain activities are appropriate and important for mitigation, but they fail because of the “people”. Consequently, this problematic source –the people—are considered the province of sociologist with the implication that, if sociologist were able to “solve’ the people problem, all else would be right with the world, especially since technological schemes could b implemented. Such schemes are assumed to be in the interest of the people anyway. Thus, it is assumed that if sociologist can solve the people problem, planning efforts would usher us into some new utopia. The role of sociologist is considered residual, rather than central, in the planning process.
disaster planning , mitigation , sociological perspective