The Endless Reconstruction and Modern Disasters

The Management of Urban Space Through an Earthquake – Messina, 1908–2018

  • Domenica Farinella
  • Pietro Saitta

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Domenica Farinella, Pietro Saitta
    Pages 1-17
  3. Domenica Farinella, Pietro Saitta
    Pages 19-41
  4. Domenica Farinella, Pietro Saitta
    Pages 99-153
  5. Domenica Farinella, Pietro Saitta
    Pages 155-198
  6. Domenica Farinella, Pietro Saitta
    Pages 199-231
  7. Domenica Farinella, Pietro Saitta
    Pages 233-271
  8. Domenica Farinella, Pietro Saitta
    Pages 273-286
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 287-290

About this book


This book examines the long-lasting consequences of the Messina earthquake, a disaster that struck the city of Messina, Sicily, in 1908. The quake killed 86,000 people and destroyed one of the most important port cities in the Mediterranean. The authors argue that contemporary notions of “disaster economy” and “shock economy” are not specifically features of the present. On the contrary, the elements that characterize contemporary disaster-related speculative processes were largely active at the very beginning of the past century and helped the formation of the present. In addition to considering the historical significance of the earthquake, the authors pay particular attention to the impact of the earthquake on the structural victims of this enduring disaster: the members of the marginal class of people that emerged from the reconstruction. Through the biographical analysis of the inhabitants of shacks and projects, the study analyzes the intergenerational continuity of the subaltern urban experience.

Domenica Farinella, PhD, is a Lecturer in Economic Sociology at the University of Messina, Italy.

Pietro Saitta, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Messina, Italy.


Disaster Studies Natural Disasters Urban Sociology Housing Policy Southern Europe Informal Economy Urban Space Class Reconstruction Urban Borders Marginality

Authors and affiliations

  • Domenica Farinella
    • 1
  • Pietro Saitta
    • 2
  1. 1.Dipartimento ScipogUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento CospecsUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-19360-7
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-19361-4
  • Buy this book on publisher's site