Connecting individuals with collective structures


The integration of the level of individual analysis with the level of social and political meanings; the connection of the individual with a public, a community, and politics; and the development of a growing political consciousness (that are more or less the same thing) facilitate a citizens' aptitude towards empowerment. This set of factors has been identified mainly in the literature (as already said, this conjunction appears in feminist thinking, which connects the personal with the political), but, at least in an embryonic state, it appears in almost all the empowerment community practices analysed. The hazards and the resulting disasters are perceived as an individual problem (because it affects their own family, their goods, and their economic activities) but must be addressed collectively. In a certain sense this set of factors represents a pre-requisite for any community empowerment process in relation to the disasters' management.

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