The Political and Cultural Economy of Recovery: Social Learning in a post-disaster environment

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Overview

In August 2005 the nation watched as Hurricane Katrina pummelled the Gulf Coast. Residents did not just suffer the personal costs of a home that had been severely damaged or destroyed; frequently they also lost their entire neighbourhood and the social systems that under normal circumstances made their lives "work". Katrina raised the questions of whether and how communities could solve the complex social coordination problems catastrophic disaster poses, and what inhibits them from doing so?

Professor Chamlee-Wright investigates not only the nature of post-disaster recovery, but the nature of the social order itself - how societies are able to achieve a level of complex social coordination that far exceeds our ability to design. By deploying the tools of both political economy and cultural economy, the book contributes to the bourgeoning literature on the social, political and economic impact of Hurricane Katrina.

Through a selection of case studies, the author argues that post-disaster resilience depends crucially upon the discovery that unfolds within commercial and civil society. The book will be of particular interest to postgraduate students and researchers in economics, sociology and anthropology as well as disaster specialists.

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction Understanding the sources of resilience 1

1 The nature and causes of social order as seen through post-disaster recovery 11

2 Qualitative methods and the pursuit of economic understanding 23

3 Collective action in the wake of disaster : social capital rebuilding strategies of early returnees 39

4 Social capital, community narratives, and recovery within a Vietnamese-American neighborhood 57

5 Collective narratives and entrepreneurial discovery in St. Bernard Parish 80

6 Negotiating structure and agency in the Ninth Ward : sense of place and divine purpose in post-disaster recovery 102

7 The deleterious effects of signal noise in post-disaster recovery 129

8 Expectations anchoring and the civil society vacuum : lessons for public policy 151

9 Concluding remarks 174

App. A Demographic summaries of research subjects in neighborhoods of interest 181

App. B Sample interview guide 185

App. C Primary and secondary theme codes 189

Notes 191

References 203

Index 217

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