Social Capital as Collective Narratives and Post-Disaster Community Recovery

The Sociological Review, 59 (2) 2011

17 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2013

See all articles by Emily L. Chamlee-Wright

Emily L. Chamlee-Wright

Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University

Virgil Henry Storr

George Mason University - Department of Economics; George Mason University - Mercatus Center; University of Arizona Center for the Philosophy of Freedom

Date Written: March 1, 2011

Abstract

This paper examines how social capital aids in post-disaster community recovery and redevelopment. While previous studies on social capital and post-disaster recovery have tended to focus on social networks as a source of necessary assistance, the primary focus of this study is on how social capital in the form of collective narratives affects post-disaster recovery. We argue that collective narratives can shape the recovery strategies that individuals adopt. To illustrate this we examine the post-Katrina recovery efforts in St. Bernard Parish, an area devastated by flooding and significant environmental damage. In particular, we focus on the shared narrative that dominated qualitative interview data collected in St. Bernard, namely, its shared identity as a close-knit, family-oriented community comprised of hard workers. This narrative led community members to adopt a strategy that emphasized self-reliance.

Keywords: post-disaster, recovery, post-Katrina, redevelopment

Suggested Citation

Chamlee-Wright, Emily L. and Storr, Virgil Henry, Social Capital as Collective Narratives and Post-Disaster Community Recovery (March 1, 2011). The Sociological Review, 59 (2) 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2350837

Emily L. Chamlee-Wright

Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University ( email )

3401 N. Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201-4432
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://theihs.org/

Virgil Henry Storr (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

HOME PAGE: http://virgilstorr.org/

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

HOME PAGE: http://virgilstorr.org/

University of Arizona Center for the Philosophy of Freedom ( email )

Department of History
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States

HOME PAGE: http://virgilstorr.org/

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
154
rank
180,414
Abstract Views
723
PlumX Metrics