Environments Of Risk In A Dynamic Social Landscape: Hurricanes And Disaster On The United States Gulf Coast
AuthorMcMahan, John Benjamin
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractHurricanes pose a challenge for residents and communities of the United States Gulf Coast. The people that live in the region must adapt and respond to these storms, as do the social institutions that provide support during disasters and their aftermath. This is complicated by the longstanding and ongoing relationship between the oil and gas industry and gulf coastal communities, especially as activities associated with oil and gas development alter the local environments and regional landscapes in ways that increase vulnerability. These vulnerabilities layer onto existing social inequalities and make management and protection of regional populations difficult, and complicate recovery efforts. In this dissertation I explore the relationships between people, communities, industry, and social institutions. I trace the recent history of gulf coast storms in the region, emergent and developing strategies for preparation and recovery, and ongoing contention embedded within policy and governance issues. I also consider the complex interaction between social and natural systems, the role of government and support networks in providing assistance, and the locus of responsibility in mitigating vulnerability and providing support, before, during, and after a disaster.
Degree ProgramGraduate College