The socio-cultural construction of disasters


Disasters are not only a possible consequence of natural/man-made hazards. Disasters are also socio-culturally constructed, and they are political events as well. For example, DMAs, the media, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders control the dissemination of information about the disaster. By extension, and in other ways, they also hold some control over the “social production of meaning”. Thus, “disaster communication” or “risk communication” are worthy topics in themselves. Button (for literature reference see original source document) argues that feelings of uncertainty are deliberately produced in some disaster situations, as an ideological tactic, which becomes part of a public relations or political strategy. In essence, “politically generated uncertainty reconfigures both the landscape of disaster and our social arrangements. In the process, it inflicts greater harm in the wake of disasters and makes effective response difficult”.

Note: See source document for full reference.

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