Usefulness of intangible cultural knowledge in disasters


Culture contributes to shaping the way in which people behave and the roles they adopt during or immediately following a disaster. In the context of disaster culture, roles previously adopted or witnessed during a disaster can be re-enacted and improved in another disaster situation. As Granot (for literature source see original document) states: “disaster subculture includes roles and behaviour norms which both individuals and groups must enact when appropriate. …These roles, ever present below the surface, may remain unused for years until next invoked by circumstances”. This prior, intangible cultural knowledge can save lives and property, make disaster management efforts easier and empower individuals to manage their own risks by becoming actor citizens. As Weller and Wenger (for literature source see original document) point out, one of the main benefits of disaster culture in this regard, is that it can “lessen the ambiguity and difficulty in coordinating disaster response”, since “fewer necessary adaptations to the disaster context have to emerge”.

Note: See source document for full reference.

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