The Sociology of Disaster : Fictional Explorations of Human Experiences book cover
1st Edition

The Sociology of Disaster
Fictional Explorations of Human Experiences

ISBN 9780367253066
Published September 16, 2019 by Routledge
174 Pages

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Book Description

In a book as illuminating as it is captivating, Thomas E. Drabek presents an in-depth analysis of the emotional impacts of disaster events and the many ripple effects that follow. 

Through the technique of storytelling, a series of nine fictional stories where characters experience actual disasters of different types throughout the United States illustrate the vulnerabilities and resilience to enhance the readers understanding of disaster consequences. Designed for classroom use, each story is followed by an "Analysis" section wherein discussion and research paper topics are recommended. These highlight links to published research findings. A "References" section details citations for all works included. Brief commentary in a "Notes" section adds further connections to other disasters and relevant research studies.

The Sociology of Disaster is an important innovation in disaster education and will become an invaluable resource within universities and colleges that offer degrees in emergency management at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Table of Contents

1. Give Them a Character

2. Survival

3. Faces of Fear

4. Trapped

5. In the Line of Duty

6. Angry Women

7. The Letters

8. Kentucky Tidal Waves

9. They’re All Gone

10. Migrations

11. Key Insights

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Thomas E. Drabek is Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Criminology at the University of Denver and continues his research on a part-time basis. His research has examined group and organizational responses to large-scale disasters. Professor Drabek has authored or co-authored 29 books and over 100 book chapters and journal articles. He served as the co-editor of the International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters and was elected president of the International Sociological Association’s Research Committee on Disasters. He frequently lectures at academic and emergency management workshops and conventions throughout the United States and around the world.


"Each story is crafted to introduce readers to the sociology of disasters. While sharing key insights, Drabek invites readers to take a more compassionate view of the consequences of catastrophe. This sort of evidence-informed empathy may help to turn the rising tide of disaster losses."Lori Peek, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Sociology, Director, Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado Boulder.

"Reflecting his field studies, Drabek skillfully combines the art of storytelling with key research conclusions. His diverse characters bring life to disaster research in an unparalleled manner. This is an ideal book for both academic courses and casual reading."David A. McEntire, Ph.D., Dean, College of Health and Public Service, Utah Valley University.

"The lessons of disaster science need to reach the hearts and minds of everyday people. This volume uses stories that are relatable, but remind us important lessons to do just that. If we had more work like this, there might be less suffering in the world."Joseph E. Trainor, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Director, Disaster Science and Management Degrees, Biden School of Public Policy and Administration, Core Faculty Member, Disaster Research Center, University of Delaware.