Angry Earth: Disaster in Anthropological Perspective

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From hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes to oil spills and nuclear accidents, natural and technological disasters have become increasingly frequent and destructive across the planet. This ground-breaking collection of essays explores how various cultures in different

historical moments have responded to calamity, offering new insights into the complex relationship between society and environment. Through case studies of communities in Great Britain, the Mediterranean, Asia and the Americas, contributors examine issues ranging from the social and

political factors that set the stage for disaster, to the cultural processes experienced by survivors, to the long-term impact of disasters on culture and society.

vulnerable to cataclysms, whether natural or technologically related and demonstrates how far anthropology has moved from models that assumed stasis and equilibrium. The Angry Earth should be read by all who deal with disaster situations (Elizabeth Colson, author of The Social

Consequences of Resettlement)

new disaster social science now being written, this book belongs on all our reading lists. International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, August 2000, Vol. 18, No. 2, pp. 347-349 This collection is the first to adequately represent the cultural, historical and geographical

scope and complexities of the problem of disaster. It introduces a range of useful perspectives and arguments, with compelling examples. One wishes such a collection had been available to help define the agenda for the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction, now ending

(Kenneth Hewitt, author of Regions of Risk: a Geographical Introduction to Disasters and editor of Interpretations of Calamity)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415919869
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 11/1/1999
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 0.60 (w) x 0.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Anthony Oliver-Smith is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Florida. He is author of The Martyred City: Death and Rebirth in the Andes (1986) and editor of Natural Disasters and Cultural Responses (1988). Susanna Hoffman is an anthropologist, filmmaker, and popular writer whose works include The Classified Man (1980) and the film Kypseli: Men and Women Apart—A Divided Reality (1974).

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Table of Contents

Anthropology and the Angry Earth: An Overview 1
I Disasters, Environment, and Culture 17
1 "What Is a Disaster?": Anthropological Perspectives on a Persistent Question 18
II Environmental Pattern, Hazards, and Culture: The Archaeological Perspective 35
2 The Effects of Explosive Volcanism on Ancient Egalitarian, Ranked, and Stratified Societies in Middle America 36
3 Convergent Catastrophe: Past Patterns and Future Implications of Collateral Natural Disasters in the Andes 59
III The Cultural and Social Construction of Catastrophe 73
4 Peru's Five-Hundred-Year Earthquake: Vulnerability in Historical Context 74
5 Constructing Vulnerability in the First World: The Northridge Earthquake in Southern California, 1994 89
6 The Negation of Disaster: The Media Response to Oil Spills in Great Britain 113
IV Varieties of Cultural Response 133
7 The Worst of Times, the Best of Times: Toward a Model of Cultural Response to Disaster 134
8 The Brotherhood of Pain: Theoretical and Applied Perspectives on Post-Disaster Solidarity 156
9 The Regenesis of Traditional Gender Patterns in the Wake of Disaster 173
10 Vulnerability, Disaster, and Survival in Bangladesh: Three Case Studies 192
11 "Tell Them We're Hurting": Hurricane Andrew, the Culture of Response, and the Fishing Peoples of South Florida and Louisiana 213
V Agencies, Survivors, and Reconstruction 233
12 Plan and Pattern in Reaction to Earthquake: Peru, 1970-1998 234
13 Bhopal: Vulnerability, Routinization, and the Chronic Disaster 257
14 The Phoenix Effect in Post-Disaster Recovery: An Analysis of the Economic Development Administration's Culture of Response after Hurricane Andrew 278
VI Disaster and Cultural Continuity 301
15 After Atlas Shrugs: Cultural Change or Persistence after a Disaster 302
Index 327
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