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Disaster Resilience from a Sociological Perspective

Exploring Three Italian Earthquakes as Models for Disaster Resilience Planning


Natural disasters traumatize individuals, disrupt families, and destabilize communities.Surviving these harrowing events calls for courage, tenacity, and resilience. Professional planning requires specific types of knowledge of how people meet and cope with extreme challenges.

Disaster Resilience from a Sociological Perspective examines three major earthquakes occurring in Italy over a fourteen - year period for a well-documented analysis of populations' responses to and recovery from disaster, the social variables involved, and the participation of public agencies. This timely volume reviews sociological definitions and models of disaster, identifying core features of vulnerability and multiple levels of individual and social resilience. The analysis contrasts the structural and supportive roles of Italy's civil protection and civil defense services in emergency planning and management as examples of what the author terms professional resilience. And testimony from earthquake survivors and volunteers gives voice to the social processes characteristic of disaster. Among the areas covered:

  • Social context for concepts of disaster, vulnerability, risk, and resilience
  • Types of resilience: a multidimensional analysis, focused on a physical, ecological, and ecosystem perspective
  • Findings from three earthquakes: loss, hope, and community.
  • Two systems of organizational response to emergencies
  • Toward a relational approach to disaster resilience planning
  • Plus helpful tables, methodological notes, and appendices

For researchers in disaster preparedness, psychology, and sociology, Disaster Resilience from a Sociological Perspective raises--and addresses--salient questions about people and communities in crisis, and how studying them can improve preparedness in an uncertain future.

Barbara Lucini has a PhD in Sociology and Methodology of Social Research, Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Milan.

She is researcher at Itstime  - Department of Sociology - Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Milan, Italy.

She is project coordinator of IDRA and IDRA for women (Itstime Disaster Resilience Agency).

She collaborates in training activities with diverse regional and national agencies.

She is involved in various national and international networks.

Her research interests are focused on disaster resilience, sociology of disaster, crisis and disaster management (national, international and European levels), civil protection systems, civil defence systems, volunteers' management, risk perception and crisis communication.

She is also interested in environmental and urban sociology, visual studies, disaster anthropology, and  methodology of social research.