Human responses to disasters remain unchanged due to our shared evolutionary heritage


There are significant implications of social aspects of risk, and the applications of knowledge generated by the sociology of risk, concerning natural, man-made, and technological disasters. First, any adequate discussion on risks related to the hazards have to take into account the continuities and discontinuities between disasters and risks in traditional and modern societies. Although the traditional world of small-scale societies was mainly faced with natural disasters, whilst the modern world is predominantly characterized by man-made and technological disasters (taking into account that the negative impact of natural hazards is often related to man-made activities), human responses to these challenges remain unchanged or unaltered mainly due to our shared evolutionary heritage. As did their ancestral populations, modern humans still worry about food (scarcity), violence, and uncontrollable diseases, often turning to magical thinking and (irrational) fears (Diamond, 2012; Douglas, 1966/1984; Oliver-Smith, 1996).

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