Cultures of Disaster: Society and Natural Hazards in the Philippines

By Greg Bankoff | Go to book overview

8

Cultures of disaster

Disasters do not occur out of context but are embedded in the political structures, economic systems and social orders of the societies in which they take place. Above all, they are historical events in that hazards are diachronic happenings, they occur as part of a sequence or process that determines a particular person’s or people’s vulnerability. But endowing disasters with histories and societies with hazardous pasts also requires a concomitant re-evaluation of the means by which such events have been conceptualised and their consequences analysed. Self-evidently disasters can no longer be viewed as merely meteorological or seismic phenomena divorced from social and cultural systems; neither can they simply be reduced to ‘laboratory studies’ of individual or group behaviour during extreme situations. Nor, too, can they be limited to or contained within small-scale ethnographic studies of the origins of communities’ coping mechanisms under stress. All these deal with important aspects of the occurrence and effect of natural hazard on societies but a more holistic approach is still demanded if disasters are to be appreciated in the wider context of the human-environment interplay over time.

Until recently, most of the existing literature on natural hazards has disproportionately dealt with aspects of disasters in the developed world. So, too, its practioners have largely attempted to explain such phenomena by turning to conceptual and methodological modes of analysis that have their origins within a western cultural perspective of how the physical and social world is constructed. The resultant discourse affects the way disasters have been understood within non-western cultures and has led to an under-estimation of the central role they may play in the formation of some societies. To many people who live with the daily threat of disaster, natural hazards are imbued with different meanings and are interpreted from a cultural perspective that accords them a distinct significance. Often, too, there is a barely perceptible and, at times, moving boundary separating hazard from resource, risk from benefit that does not sit well with the more widely favoured units of western analysis. Empowerment, access, resilience, culture and gender are all equally qualifiers differentiating victims from beneficiaries as are class, occupation, citizenship and location. In particular,

-152-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Cultures of Disaster: Society and Natural Hazards in the Philippines
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figures ix
  • Tables xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Introduction: of Jellyfish and Coups 1
  • 1 - ‘vulnerability’ as Western Discourse 5
  • 2 - Environment and Hazard in Southeast Asia 18
  • 3 - A History of Hazard in the Philippines 31
  • 4 - The ‘costs’ of Hazard in the Contemporary Philippines 61
  • 5 - The Politics of Disaster Management and Relief 83
  • 6 - The Economics of Red Tides 106
  • 7 - The Social Order and the El Niño-Southern Oscillation 123
  • 8 - Cultures of Disaster 152
  • Conclusion: Hazard as a Frequent Life Experience 179
  • References 200
  • Index 225
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 238

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.