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Accepted Paper:

The scope and importance of anthropological knowledge in disaster and the problematics with the concept of resilience  
Susanna Hoffman (International Commission on Risk and Disaster)

Paper short abstract:

Anthropology and culture have been identified as the essential the understanding of disaster, the construction of vulnerability, successful recovery, and disaster risk reduction. This paper discusses why and how, and also in the light of anthropology why the concept of resilience is severely problematic.

Paper long abstract:

Given the rising numbers of people both vulnerable to and affected by disaster worldwide, the importance of utilizing the understandings of anthropology to the study of calamities has become increasingly clear. In this paper, I detail the some of the reasons why discussing in particular the crucial importance of anthropology's core concept, culture. Culture has been identified as the essential underpinning in the construction of vulnerability, successful or unsuccessful disaster recovery, preparation, mitigation, and risk reduction. Everything about human life rest upon culture, including all the factors that go into calamities. Detailed will be the four environments in which people live and their intersection with physical adaptation and how culture determines the ways people perceive danger, create vulnerability, defines the organization of space, time, along with ideologies and symbols of nature and more that effect disaster construction, experience, and recovery. and provides the world views that convey models of and models for disaster that a people hold. Also covered will be place attachment as well as such factors as social structure, class, ethnicity, and gender. The paper will go on to review why, in the light of anthropological and cultural understanding, the concept of resilience is severely problematic.

Panel P037
Resilience, disaster, and anthropological knowledge [DICAN]
  Session 1