The influence of socio-economic status on citizen willingness to cooperate with authorities in case of a disaster


Regarding specific cultural factors in disaster response, practitioners recognised the ambivalent role of citizens’ socio-economic status: A higher socio-economic status was related to a greater willingness to cooperate with the authorities in case of disasters, but it was also seen as the potential cause for greater resistance due to “having a lot to lose”. On the other hand, a lower socio-economic status was associated with citizens’ greater indifference, but also with a greater flexibility due to “having nothing to lose”. A more important role was ascribed to the existence, or lack of, social networks, with social isolation seen to be a major risk factor across all social strata. Additionally, practitioners felt that in urban areas there is a tendency of citizens being less self-sufficient, and citizens “delegating” the care for their safety to the authorities.

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