Smith College Studies in Social Work
It is increasingly difficult to distinguish natural events from those influenced by human actions. Furthermore, researchers in various fields have established that the level of devastation and the predicted likelihood of recovery of neighborhoods and communities correspond with the amount of political and socioeconomic capital held by neighborhoods and communities prior to disasters such as the Hurricane Katrina. In this paper we analyze the significance of the discourse of “natural disasters” through the framework of social ecology. We contest the neutralist discourse of “natural disasters” by underscoring the numerous interdependent sociopolitical forces, which shape the context in which disasters occur.
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Park, Yoosun and Miller, Joshua, "The Social Ecology of Hurricane Katrina Re-Writing the Discourse of “Natural” Disasters" (2006). School for Social Work: Faculty Publications, Smith College, Northampton, MA.