Like a Fish Out of Water: Reconsidering Disaster Recovery and the Role of Place and Social Capital in Community Disaster Resilience
- 2.3k Downloads
In this paper we draw on the findings of a critical, multi-sited ethnographic study of two rural communities affected by a wildfire in British Columbia, Canada to examine the salience of place, identity, and social capital to the disaster recovery process and community disaster resilience. We argue that a reconfiguration of disaster recovery is required that more meaningfully considers the role of place in the disaster recovery process and opens up the space for a more reflective and intentional consideration of the disorientation and disruption associated with disasters and our organized response to that disorientation. We describe a social-psychological process, reorientation, in which affected individuals and communities navigate the psychological, social and emotional responses to the symbolic and material changes to social and geographic place that result from the fire’s destruction. The reorientation process emphasizes the critical importance of place not only as an orienting framework in recovery but also as the ground upon which social capital and community disaster resilience are built. This approach to understanding and responding to the disorientation of disasters has implications for community psychologists and other service providers engaged in supporting disaster survivors. This includes the need to consider the complex dynamic of contextual and cultural factors that influence the disaster recovery process.
KeywordsSocial capital Disaster Trauma recovery Community disaster resilience Place Ethnography
Completion of this article was made possible in part by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Grant #41020040177 awarded to Bonita C. Long and the Michael Smith Health Research Foundation Doctoral and Post-Doctoral Fellowships awarded to Robin S. Cox.
- Bakker-Rabdau, C., & Bakker, M. (1973). No trespassing!: Explorations in human territoriality. London, UK: Coventure Ltd.Google Scholar
- Bolton, D. (1999). The threat to belonging in Enniskillen: Reflections on the Remembrance Day bombing. In E. S. Zinner & M. B. Williams (Eds.), When a community weeps: Case studies in group survivorship (pp. 191–211). Ann Arbor, MI: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
- Bourdieu, P. (1986). The forms of social capital. In J. Richardson (Ed.), Handbook of theory and research for the sociology of education (pp. 241–258). New York, NY: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
- Brown, B., & Perkins, D. (1992). Disruptions in place attachment. In I. Altman & S. Low (Eds.), Place attachment (pp. 279–304). New York, NY: Plenum.Google Scholar
- Buttimer, A. (1980). Home, reach, and the sense of place. In A. Buttimer & D. Seamon (Eds.), The human experience of space and place (pp. 166–187). New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press.Google Scholar
- Caputo, J. D. (1987). Radical hermeneutics: Repetition, deconstruction and the hermeneutic project. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
- Casey, E. (1993). Getting back into place: Toward a renewed understanding of the place-world. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
- Charmaz, K. (1999). Stories of suffering: Subjective tales and research narratives. Qualitative Health Research, 9(3), 362–382.Google Scholar
- Charmaz, K. (2000). Grounded theory: Objectivist and constructivist methods. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (2nd ed., pp. 509–535). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Charmaz, K., & Mitchell, R. G. (2001). Grounded theory in ethnography. In P. Atkinson, A. Coffey, S. Delamont, J. Lofland, & L. Lofland (Eds.), Handbook of ethnography (pp. 160–174). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Coburn, D. (2004). Beyond the income inequality hypothesis: Class, neoliberalism, and health inequalities. Social Science & Medicine, 58, 41–56.Google Scholar
- Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Rochberg-Halton, E. (1981). The meaning of things. London, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Diaz, J., & Dayal, A. (2008). Sense of place: A model for community based psychosocial support programs. The Australasian Journal of Disaster and Trauma Studies, 1, 1174–4707.Google Scholar
- Erikson, K. (1976b). Everything in its path. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
- Fairclough, N. (1995). Critical discourse analysis: The critical study of language. London: Longman.Google Scholar
- Fairclough, N. (2003). Analysing discourse: Textual analysis for social research. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Fairclough, N., & Wodak, R. (1997). Critical discourse analysis. In T. vanDijk (Ed.), Introduction to discourse analysis (pp. 258–284). London, UK: Sage.Google Scholar
- Fordham, M. H., & Ketteridge, A. M. (1998). “Men must work and women must weep:” Examining gender stereotypes in disasters. In E. Enarson & B. Morrow (Eds.), The gendered terrain of disaster: Through women’s eyes (pp. 81–94). Westport, CT: Praeger.Google Scholar
- Fried, M. (1963). Grieving for a lost home. In L. Duhl (Ed.), The urban condition: People and policy in the metropolis. New York, NY: Basic.Google Scholar
- Giddens, A. (1979). Central problems in social theory. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. L. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. San Francisco, CA: Sociology Press.Google Scholar
- Guiliani, M. V., & Feldman, R. (1993). Place attachment in a developmental and cultural context. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 13(3), 267–274.Google Scholar
- Hammersley, M., & Atkinson, P. (1983). Ethnography: Principles in practice. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Hogg, M. A., & Abrams, D. (2003). Intergroup behaviour and social identity. In M. A. Hogg & J. Cooper (Eds.), Handbook of social psychology (pp. 407–431). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Kaniasty, K., & Norris, F. H. (2004). Social support in the aftermath of disasters, catastrophes, and acts of terrorism: Altruistic, overwhelmed, uncertain, antagonistic, and patriotic communities. In R. J. Ursano, A. Norwood, & C. Fullerton (Eds.), Bioterrorism: Psychological and public health interventions (pp. 200–229). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Keating, M. (1998). The new regionalism in Western Europe. Cheltenham, UK: Elgar.Google Scholar
- Klein, N. (2007). The shock doctrine: The rise of disaster capitalism. New York, NY: Metropolitan Books.Google Scholar
- Kleine, S. S., & Baker, S. M. (2004). An integrative review of material possession attachment. Academy of Marketing Science Review, 1, 1–35. http://www.amsreview.org/articles/kleine01-2004.pdf.
- Lang, R. (1979). The dwelling door: Towards a phenomenology of transition. In D. Seamon & R. Mugerauer (Eds.), Dwelling, place and environment: Towards a phenomenology of person and world (pp. 210–214). Dordrecht, NL: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.Google Scholar
- Leavell, V. (2007). The new Thai capitalism: Development or disaster? Retrieved on September 23, 2009 from http://www.clpmag.org/article.php?article=The-New-Thai-Capitalism-Development-or-Disaster_159.
- Low, S. M., & Altman, I. (1992). Place attachment: A conceptual inquiry. In S. M. Low & I. Altman (Eds.), Place attachment: Human behavior and environment (pp. 1–12). New York, NY: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
- Marcus, G. E. (1998). Ethnography through thick and thin. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Martin, E. (1994). Flexible bodies: Tracking immunity in American culture from the days of polio to the age of AIDS. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
- Massey, D. (1994). Space, place and gender. Cambridge, MA: Polity Press.Google Scholar
- Norris, F., Stevens, S., Pfefferbaum, B., Wyche, K., & Pfefferbaum, R. (2008). Community resilience as a metaphor, theory, set of capacities, and strategy for disaster readiness. American Journal of Community Psychology, 41(1–2), 1573–2770.Google Scholar
- Ofosuhene, M. (2005). Urban connections with rural areas in home-based business: Implications for sustainable rural development in Saskatchewan. Unpublished PhD Dissertation, University of Saskatchewan.Google Scholar
- Paton, D. (2006). Disaster resilience: Integrating individual, community, institutional, and environmental perspectives. In D. Paton & D. Johnston (Eds.), Disaster resilience: An integrated approach (pp. 305–318). Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.Google Scholar
- Phillips, N., & Hardy, C. (2002). Discourse analysis: Investigating processes of social construction. Sage University Papers Series on qualitative research methods (Vol. 50). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Pidgeon, N. F., & Henwood, K. L. (1997). Using grounded theory in psychological research. In N. Hayes (Ed.), Doing qualitative analysis in psychology (pp. 245–273). Hove, UK: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
- Relph, E. (1976). Place and placement. London, UK: Pion.Google Scholar
- Seamon, D. (1979). A geography of the lifeworld: Movement, rest and encounter. London, UK: Croom Helm.Google Scholar
- Statistics Canada. (2001a). 2001 census of Canada: Community profiles. Retrieved on March 2, 2004 from http://www12.statcan.ca/english/profil01/PlaceSearchForm1.cfm.
- Statistics Canada. (2001b). A profile of the Canadian population, where we live. Retrieved on March 2, 2004 from: http://www12.statcan.ca/english/profil01/PlaceSearchForm1.cfm.
- Statistics Canada. (2005). Social engagement and civic participation: Are rural and small town populations really at an advantage? Rural and Small Town Canada, 6, doi: http://www.statcan.ca/cgi-bin/downpub/listpub.cgi?catno=21-006-XIE2005004.
- Stone, W., Gray, M., & Hughes, J. (2003). Social capital at work. Melbourne, AT: Australian Institute of Family Studies.Google Scholar
- Taylor, C. (1989). Sources of the self: The making of the modern identity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Thompson-Nicola Regional District. (2003). A route to recovery: Report of the North Thompson Recovery Plan Task Force. Kamloops, BC: Thompson-Nicola Regional District.Google Scholar
- Turner, J., & Reynolds, K. (2003). The social identity perspective in intergroup relations: Theories, themes, and controversies. In R. Brown & S. Gaertner (Eds.), Intergroup processes (pp. 133–152). Oxford, UK: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- VanBreda, A. D. (2001). Resilience theory: A literature review. Gezina, SA: South African Military Health Service, Military Psychological Institute, Social Work and Research Development.Google Scholar
- Wellman, B., & Frank, K. (2001). Network capital in a multi-level world: Getting support from personal communities. In N. Lin, K. Cook, & R. S. Burt (Eds.), Social capital: Theory and research (pp. 233–273). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.Google Scholar
- Wetherell, M., Taylor, S., & Yates, S. J. (2001). Discourse as data: A guide for analysis. London, UK: Sage.Google Scholar