Thinking About Disasters: A Call for Intersectionality and Transdisciplinarity in Disaster Studies

  • Janki AndhariaEmail author
Part of the Disaster Studies and Management book series (DSDM)


This introductory chapter delves into the essence of questions surrounding the notion of disasters, examining whether they can be studied and understood in isolation from social, cultural, historical, political and ethical imaginations. What is the meaning of disaster; why and for whom is a phenomenon so termed? It stresses the need to go beyond the current dominant view of disasters, based on instrumental rationality. Cultural and anthropological perspectives are largely ignored by “scientific literature”, resulting in the study of disasters becoming largely event centric, bounded by space and geography. The chapter brings into focus the role of intersectional knowledge in disaster studies and the need for transdisciplinarity in order to understand the present world and disasters, going beyond the contemporary inter- and multidisciplinary approaches. It suggests that this opens up multiple meaning-making possibilities.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jamsetji Tata School of Disaster StudiesTata Institute of Social SciencesMumbaiIndia

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