Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: March 15, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939645 | Print ISBN: 9781412916080 | Online ISBN: 9781412939645| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this handbook
Chapter 89: The Sociology of Disaster
GARY R. WEBB
The sociology of disaster Disasters are dramatic events. They result in widespread physical damage, social disruption, and loss of life. While human societies have always encountered them, disasters seem to be increasing in frequency, financial costs, and complexity. With a growing number of people living in hazardous places and continuing advances in technology, social vulnerability to extreme events is increasing. Recent earthquakes in India, Japan, Turkey, and Iran have resulted in tens of thousands of deaths. The tsunami that devastated parts of Asia in 2004 took the lives of nearly a quarter of a million people. Hurricane Katrina, which during August 2005 struck the Gulf Coast region of the United States, left in its wake a substantial death toll, massive damage, and an enormous number of people stranded without basic life necessities. Technological disasters, such as the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the Union Carbide chemical release in Bhopal, and the ...