Cultural parallel practices: religious practice and more 'rationally-grounded' protective behaviours


Even the same religion can have different influences on attitudes towards risk perception and response to disasters in different socio-cultural contexts. For example, in the Philippines, the only Christian nation in Eastern Asia, religion is an essential part of the coping mechanisms with the risks that are very frequent in this area (Bankoff, 2004a). Filipinos' attitudes and practices emphasize people's sense of helplessness that even exposure to what is considered to be a merited fate might increase their vulnerability. On the other hand, Italians living on mount Etna took part in something that Chester, Duncan, and Dibben (2008) call “parallel practices”. Citizens of religious south Italy engage in actions that will help the miraculous take place, but, at the same time, they also take more “rationally” grounded protective measures such as evacuation. Therefore, it seems that in disaster-prone south Italy religious practice does not undermine other types of protective behaviour (Chester et al., 2008).

Note: See source document for full reference.

Applicable to:

Cultural Factors: Ethnicity, Worldviews, Norms/values

Hazards: Natural hazards

Disaster Phases: Prevention

Types of Actors Concerned: Non-active citizens, Active citizens