Disaster Studies: An Historical Analysis of the Influences of Basic Sociology and Applied Use on the Resarch Done in the Last 35 Years

Quarantelli, E. L.
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Disaster Research Center
We want to discuss disaster studies and their relationship to basic and applied sociological research. The relationship could be looked at from the viewpoint of what is ought to be, or it could be examined from the perspective of what it actually is. We have chosen to discuss what is really done, rather than, ideally, what ought to be done. In fact, since most of our remarks and examples are drawn from the past, from the first decade or so of disaster research in the United States, we shall be talking not so much of what is done at present, but more about what happened in the past. In other words, we will talk about the very early days of systematic disaster research in this country and try to indicate in what ways applied and basic questions influenced the work that was undertaken, in that sense focusing on the “was,” rather than the “should have been.”
disaster research , sociological research