Can And Should Social Science Disaster Reserch Knowledge And Findings From Developed Societies Be Applied In Developing Societies

Quarantelli, E. L.
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Disaster Research Center
We consider the extent to which social science research findings about disasters primarily derived from developed countries can and should be applied in developing societies. It is first noted that the conceptual distinction made between developed and developing social systems may lead to an underestimation of the existing capabilities for preparing for and responding to disasters in developing nations. We then note general differences between organizational structures in developed and developing societies, because organizations everywhere are the prime actors in disaster preparedness and response. However, most of the paper discusses six major observations with respect to the extent to which empirically based research findings about the behavior of organizations in highly urbanized and industrialized societies can be extrapolated to or applied in developing social systems. We conclude that it is not a matter of either/or, and that there are certain social features in developing societies which might lessen the necessity of importing disaster social technology from developed countries.
Disaster , Developed Societies , organizational structure