Confronting Catastrophe: New Perspectives on Natural Disasters

Confronting Catastrophe: New Perspectives on Natural Disasters

by David E. Alexander

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Overview

Confronting Catastrophe addresses natural disasters in terms of the issues arising from globalization, technological development and consumer culture. These factors have profoundly altered social and economic values, and international relations have responded to a new balance of forces and ideologies. Beginning by examining the theoretical underpinnings of academic and applied work the author then considers cultural, economic and historical changes in relation to the impact of disasters on human societies. Special attention is given to the effects of new technologies on vulnerability to natural catastrophe and to the difference in impacts between industrialized nations and developing countries. It is argued that, far from being exceptional events, disasters are a normal part of life and a substantial influence on most human cultures.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781903544013
Publisher: Dunedin Academic Press
Publication date: 01/01/2000
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.67(d)

About the Author

David Alexander is Professor of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Table of Contents

Preface v
Introduction 1(6)
Definitions 7(16)
The study of disaster
23(38)
The evolution of approaches to natural disaster
23(7)
Academic studies of hazards and disasters
30(6)
On the unreliability of disaster data
36(4)
Why there are so few spatial models of disaster
40(13)
The human ecology of disaster
53(8)
Society and culture
61(44)
Fuzzy boundaries: disasters and human cultures
61(11)
Disasters and social change
72(4)
The perception of disaster
76(6)
A cornucopia society
82(8)
Urbanization and disaster
90(15)
Past, present and future
105(32)
An historical approach to modern disasters
105(24)
Millennialism
129(3)
The holistic approach to disasters: an example
132(5)
Technology, economics and logistics
137(36)
The power of the mass media
137(4)
Voyeurism
141(1)
Telecommunications technology and institutions
142(1)
The Internet and disasters
143(7)
Disaster and the automobile
150(4)
Satellites and disaster
154(3)
Mitigation and the rising toll of losses
157(2)
Economic growth and disasters
159(3)
The changing face of emergency management
162(6)
A scenario
168(5)
Moral and philosophical issues
173(22)
Natural disasters and armed conflict
173(5)
Violence and disasters
178(2)
Do disasters make the world uglier?
180(4)
Anthropomorphism and anthropocentrism
184(5)
Classification, taxonomy and ranks
189(6)
Worlds apart
195(32)
Natural disaster in Asia
196(12)
Yemen floods
208(1)
Somalia
209(5)
World Food Programme operations
214(5)
A local perspective
219(6)
The way ahead
225(2)
Finem respice
227(24)
The DNA of disaster
227(11)
Conclusion - a model
238(9)
Well, so what?
247(4)
Bibliography 251(26)
Index 277

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