Reading Hurricane Katrina: Information Sources and Decision-making in Response to a Natural Disaster
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Social Epistemology 23 (3):361-380 (2011)
In this paper we analyze results from 114 face-to-face qualitative interviews of people who had evacuated from the New Orleans area in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, interviews that were completed within weeks of the 2005 storm in most cases. Our goal was to understand the role information and knowledge played in people's decisions to leave the area. Contrary to the conventional wisdom underlying many disaster communication studies, we found that our interviewees almost always had extensive storm-related information from a variety of sources, including media reports and (in many cases) other background knowledge gleaned from experiences with previous storms, often from interpersonal sources. However, consistent with a theme in communication research that has been identifiable since at least the 1940s, interpersonal communication networks were most often what ultimately caused these individuals to act on this information, and therefore those with “weak ties” (a concept borrowed from sociology) to the broader “mainstream” community may have been disadvantaged, slower to leave, and thus more vulnerable to the storm's main effects. From our evidence, the end result was less a function of discrimination as it was one of differential activation of a relevant social network. These results argue for the rejection of a “deficit model” that assumes varied reactions to natural disaster result from some kind of an information deficiency, and remind us that behavior under such circumstances is the result of a process of collective behavior, not only individual cognition
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Mark Granovetter (1983). The Strength of Weak Ties: A Network Theory Revisited. Sociological Theory 1 (1983):201-233.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Luc Bovens & Stephan Hartmann (2006). An Impossibility Result for Coherence Rankings. Philosophical Studies 128 (1):77-91.
Stephan Hartmann & Luc Bovens (2006). An Impossibility Result for Coherence Rankings. Philosophical Studies 128 (1):77-91.
Alan Muller & Roman Kräussl (2011). The Value of Corporate Philanthropy During Times of Crisis: The Sensegiving Effect of Employee Involvement. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 103 (2):203-220.
Alan Muller & Gail Whiteman (2009). Exploring the Geography of Corporate Philanthropic Disaster Response: A Study of Fortune Global 500 Firms. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 84 (4):589 - 603.
Genevieve Maricle (2011). Prediction as an Impediment to Preparedness: Lessons From the US Hurricane and Earthquake Research Enterprises. Minerva 49 (1):87-111.
Byron Newberry (2010). Katrina: Macro-Ethical Issues for Engineers. [REVIEW] Science and Engineering Ethics 16 (3):535-571.
Added to index2010-07-27
Total downloads7 ( #183,968 of 1,099,034 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #287,293 of 1,099,034 )
How can I increase my downloads?