This chapter presents a critical review of race, class, and ethnicity as used in both historic and recent disaster research. Using critical race theory, political ecology, and related social science theories, we assess a selection of disaster studies and suggest ways that disaster research could be enhanced by engaging new approaches to social inequality and disaster vulnerability. We next review recent research on several major disasters, including the Indian Ocean Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina to illustrate the use of vulnerability theory, critical geography, and political ecology in analyzing the production of hazardous landscapes, which place people at risk. The chapter concludes with a discussion of environmental justice research using the chronic impacts of radiation hazards on the Navajo Nation as an example of the convergence of disaster studies and environmental justice concerns.
- Hurricane Katrina
- Environmental justice
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We note that there are important theoretical and methodological convergences and differences between vulnerability studies and the recently emerged resilience approach to research on hazards and disasters, but a discussion of resilience is beyond the scope of this chapter (see Eakin & Luer (2006) for a review of both). Both types of studies use the term ‘vulnerability’ frequently, although not interchangeably, and some studies blend the two approaches (e.g. Hutanuwatr et al., 2012).
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Bolin, B., Kurtz, L.C. (2018). Race, Class, Ethnicity, and Disaster Vulnerability. In: Rodríguez, H., Donner, W., Trainor, J. (eds) Handbook of Disaster Research. Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-63254-4_10
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