Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Disasters do not necessarily affect minorities disproportionately

15.08.2005


Disaster research presented at the American Sociological Association Centennial Meeting



While it has long been assumed in the disaster research community that individuals with fewer resources are more likely to suffer in a disaster--and it is true that non-whites, the poor, and females often suffer more than their counterparts--the race-class-and-gender trinity of variables does not capture the entire spectrum in which disaster affects society. At the 2005 American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Lee Clarke, Rutgers University, discusses the reality that calamity is with us as never before and yet we are poorly prepared.

"Too much disaster policy continues to take a command-and-control stance. And there’s been insufficient preparation where disasters really happen--at the local level: in offices, schools, trains, and the like," says Clarke. "We are at greater risk for worst-case disasters today than in the past, even in wealthy societies. This is because of hubris, interdependence, and population concentration.


Clarke finds that people suffer and die in the same ways that they live--in patterned, nonrandom ways. There are patterns in where people choose to live, where they go to work, with whom they eat lunch, and with whom they spend their leisure time. His research concludes that because of that patterning, disasters in general and worst cases in particular can always be expected to damage some people disproportionately. His research stresses that disaster is a normal part of life.

In regards to the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, it is common to see enumerations of the many countries that were represented among the victims, which are used to show, incorrectly, says Clarke, that there were no patterns. But bond traders were differentially exposed to risk of death. The brokerage house of Cantor Fitzgerald lost about two-thirds of its 1,000 employees that morning. Probably few of those employees were poor and most were probably white, male, and financially well-off. He refers to this as inequities of the moment.

In disasters, "sometimes occupation matters, sometimes the kind of organization that you work for. Sometimes gender or race or class matters. Sometimes the inequality of the moment is geographically based," says Clarke. "Once we see disaster and catastrophe, like death, misery, happiness, and boredom, as a normal part of life several things are thrown into perspective. We see that destruction happens in disasters in ways that are not random: there are patterns. These patterns tend to mirror the ways humans organize their societies: along lines of wealth and poverty, division of labor, access to health care, membership in organizations, to name a few."

Johanna Olexy | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.asanet.org

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>