Social Effects of Disaster Displacement

Social Effects of Disaster Displacement - The Social...

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The Social Effects of Disaster Displacement “The disaster stretched human nerves to their outer edge. Those of us who did not experience it can never really comprehend the full horror of that day, but we can at least appreciate why it should cause such a misery and why it should leave so deep a scar on the minds of those who lived through it,” (Erikson, 186). When reading this quote in modern times the first thing that would come to almost any American’s mind is more than likely Hurricane Katrina. It was a devastating disaster that decimated the city of New Orleans and took the United States, and the southeast in particular, by storm. However, this quote was actually written in reference to the Buffalo Creek flood of 1972, another devastating, but far less heard of, American disaster. As in most cases, occurrences such as the Buffalo Creek flood and Hurricane Katrina bear a significant effect on the society in which it is surrounded, but more importantly it bears an effect on the individuals involved on a far greater scale. People involved in disasters such as these suffer from things such as inadequate temporary housing or lack of economic resources following the disaster, but probably more significantly the social psychological effects from the disaster itself as well as from the disruption of family, home and community. It is the latter of these effects that I intend on analyzing as I compare these two incredible occurrences. In his book, Everything in Its Path , Kai T. Erikson discusses, at length, the individual trauma of the individuals directly involved in the disaster. One thing in particular that he focuses on is the loss of something he refers to as “communality.” His discussion of this is intriguing as the loss of community plays such a large role in t he
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devastation suffered by the individuals involved in the flood. Erikson describes
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Social Effects of Disaster Displacement - The Social...

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