Social Interfaces in Disaster Situations: Analyzing Rehabilitation and Recovery Processes Among the Fisherfolk of Tamil Nadu After the Tsunami in India

  • Sunil D. SanthaEmail author


This chapter highlights the importance of studying social interfaces in the contexts of humanitarian crisis situations such as the Asian tsunami. Humanitarian response and recovery processes are characterized by the interface of different social actors with diverse values, interests, knowledge, and power. During such social encounters, social interfaces are manifested in the form of conflicts or cooperation between those actors affected by the disaster and those actors responsible for humanitarian aid. The chapter also reflects on the processes of continuity and change enforced by diverse outside actors, such as development practitioners and the State, on the day-to-day life events of people affected by disasters. By illustrating the case of fisherfolk in Tamil Nadu, this chapter emphasizes the need to revisit vulnerability reduction from a people-centred perspective. Pointing out that social situations in post-disaster settings are characterized by the interplay between very dynamic local cultures and static formal institutions, further complicated by issues of power, this chapter argues that rehabilitation and recovery programmes can be effective only if there is a restructuring of power, and there are mutually agreed upon norms and understanding between the different actors involved.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Livelihoods and Social Innovation, School of Social WorkTata Institute of Social SciencesMumbaiIndia

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