While disasters like the coronavirus pandemic, hurricanes, and wildfires tend to negatively affect large swaths of people, they also bring preexisting inequalities and social vulnerabilities into sharp focus. In many cases, disasters often reinforce structural inequalities existing in society during crises moments, and then subsequently exacerbate inequalities in the aftermath through an unequal recovery process. Disasters and crises have important implications for educational inequalities and schooling. In this chapter, we provide a literature review of how preexisting inequalities by social status and where one lives often cause unequal educational effects during disasters using theoretical insights from the sociology of disasters and the sociology of education. We first summarize how preexisting social inequalities crises and disasters in the United States can lead to unequal learning outcomes during the crisis. Next, we explore how the aftermath of crises tends to exacerbate the aforementioned inequalities through an uneven recovery process, again focusing on the role of education and schooling. While disasters often draw our attention to existing injustices, they also provide us an opportunity to imagine what types of institutional changes are needed to promote a more socially just society and how education may play a role in that vision.
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Hyde, A., Li, A., Maltbie, A. (2021). Bringing Inequalities to the Fore: The Effects of the Coronavirus Pandemic and Other Disasters on Educational Inequalities in the United States. In: Pearson Jr., W., Reddy, V. (eds) Social Justice and Education in the 21st Century. Diversity and Inclusion Research. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-65417-7_20
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