Traversing Catastrophe: Exploring the Cultural Components of Risk, Uncertainty and Future Imaginings after Calamity



Javornik, Rishonah

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Disaster has plagued humanity since the beginning of time, and yet, despite the recurrence of calamitous events, human societies still continue to display patterns of vulnerability. This is due to the complex nature of disasters and how humans relate to them, often shaped by the culture in which the impacted community resides. This thesis engages interdisciplinary literature which informs the Anthropological perspective of disaster in order to explore how communities experience, remember and interpret disasters and address the role of catastrophe in future construction. This literature reveals that belief systems, memory, temporality, distance and the concepts of risk, hope and future imaginings serve as key cultural factors which influence the social conditions of disaster and the construction of uncertainty. These factors likewise play a significant role in how a community responds to and prepares for future disasters.



Disaster, Uncertainty, Prognosis time, Calamity, Risk, Hope