Pitfall of Disaster Information

From the Perspective of Double-Bind Theory
  • Katsuya YamoriEmail author
Part of the Integrated Disaster Risk Management book series (IDRM)


Even though disaster information provided on its own completely isolated from all other communication can be logically comprehended, in reality it is meaningless. In other words, all disaster information exists in the form of disaster risk communication, messages from one person to another person. When disaster information is viewed as communication (messages), it faces the numerous major difficulties associated with messages in general. “Double bind” is the name given to one of these difficulties by Gregory Bateson, a cultural anthropologist. A double bind arises in a situation in which the recipient of a message, and also in fact the sender of the message, faces a dilemma due to inconsistencies and conflicts arising between a message and its meta-message. Many of the problems involving disaster information in modern societies are thought to closely resemble the double bind. This chapter proposes that these problems can be conceptualized as three major conditions: double bind that reproduces “waiting for information,” double bind that reproduces dependence on government and experts, and double bind that reproduces an objective and unequivocal view of disaster information. A few innovative challenges to overcome difficulties of double bind, under the central concept of “joining and sharing” information, are introduced.


Disaster information Risk communication Double bind Message Meta-message 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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