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Disasters

Copyright Gregory V. Button

Copyright Gregory V. Button

Disasters are not only caused by natural events, but are also the product of our social, political and economic world. Whether disasters are perceived as caused by natural or unnatural causes they are inextricably bound together in the web of human condition. Disasters need to be perceived in the broader patterns of society and culture. People are made more vulnerable to disasters and their impact by socio/political and economic organizations. Thus, some populations are made more vulnerable than others to the harmful affects of catastrophe, while they, and others, may be rendered more vulnerable as a result of our inequitable response to such events. People’s capacity to prevent, mitigate, cope with, respond to, and recover from disasters is shaped by largely by our sociopolitical world. The topic of Disaster Studies therefore necessitates a wide range of disciplinary approaches, questions, and research method. In studying the inequities that make some people more vulnerable across the disaster continuum, disaster researchers focus on issues such as race, ethnicity, class, age, gender, human rights, inadequate housing, unemployment, access to medical care, inequitable access to assistance, and whether people have a voice in the decision-making process that affects their lives.

Representative Publications

  • Gregory V. Button, “Family Resemblances Between Disasters and Development-Forced Displacement: Hurricane Katrina,” in Development and Dispossession: the Crisis of Forced Displacement and Resettlement, Pp: 255-275.  Edited by Anthony Oliver Smith, School for Advanced Research Advanced Seminar Series, School for Advanced Research, 2009.
  • Gregory Button & Anthony Oliver-Smith, “Disaster, Displacement and Employment:: Distortion of Labor Markets During Post-Katrina Reconstruction,” in Capitalizing on Catastrophe: Neoliberal Strategies in Disaster Reconstruction, Pp. 123-147.  Edited by Gunewardena & Schuller, AltaMira Press, 2008.
  •  Gregory V. Button, “Voices from the Astrodome and Beyond: Evacuee Counter-Narratives” in Learning From Catastrophe, Boulder Colorado:  Edited by the Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado. 2006.
  • Gregory V. Button and Anthony Oliver-Smith (2005) “Forced Migration as an Index of Vulnerability in Hurricane Katrina” For the 6th Open Meeting of the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change Research Meeting-Expert Working Group on Vulnerability, October 11-14, 2005, UNU-Bonn, Germany. monograph.
  • Rogge, M.E., Davis, K.L., Maddox, D.N, & Jackson, M. (in press). Leveraging environmental, social, and economic justice at Chattanooga Creek: A participatory research case study. Journal of Community Practice
  • Rogge, M.E. (2003). The future is now: Social work, disaster management, and traumatic stress in the 21st century. Journal of Social Services Research, 1-6.
  • Soliman, H.H., & Rogge, M.E. (2002). Ethical considerations in disaster services: A social work perspective. Electronic Journal of Social Work, 1(1), Article10.

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