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Places as Recovery Machines: Neighborhood Change Following Major Hurricanes
Discipline: Population and Environment Sociology Urban Studies
Project Category: Institution: State University of New York at Albany
University of Oregon Principal Investigators: Jeremy Pais
Much research has examined the social, psychological, and economic impacts of natural disasters, but few have considered their demographic effects and fewer still have moved beyond specific case studies to consider how places, in general, recover after such catastrophes. In this study, we contribute to sociological understanding of disasters by advancing a conceptual framework of places as recovery machines and by introducing an innovative method for testing and refining general propositions about how neighborhoods change after major coastal disasters, paying particular attention to patterns and processes of power and vulnerability. Results from major hurricanes of the early 1990s show that affected regions grow substantially after major storms and this growth is highly uneven, with elite entrenchment characterizing the core zone of recovery and rapid, ethno-racially diverse growth dominating the surrounding, inner ring of recovery.
Expected Outputs: Full draft currently under review; Presenting at the 2007 PAA