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Researching Disasters: Theories for a Case Study

  • Domenica Farinella
  • Pietro Saitta
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter introduces the notion of disaster and provides a selection of key themes derived from the current sociological and anthropological debate on undesired events. Disasters are interpreted as elements that can revitalize old fractures and lines of separation that are at the very basis of the processes of national formation. These crises generate multiple interpretations and are experienced differently by different groups. Disasters, thus, appear as cultural phenomena that reflect the plurality of positions and hierarchies present in a given society. That is, elements that produce different responses, and subsequent “structural amnesias” and “memories”. Tragic collective events, moreover, are seen as occurrences that “augment” social reality by increasing the visibility of social structures and hidden tendencies. This set of theories is applied to the case at hand to reflect on the cultural and political outcomes of the seismic crisis in the Sicilian city at the center of the study.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Domenica Farinella
    • 1
  • Pietro Saitta
    • 2
  1. 1.Dipartimento ScipogUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento CospecsUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly

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