Commercial Relationships and Spaces after Disaster

Society Vol. 51 No. 6, 2014

9 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2016

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: 2014

Abstract

Sociological research on the relationship between social bonds and economic activity typically focuses on how social bonds facilitate economic activity. There is, however, a growing and important literature on the development of commercial relationships into social friendships and the important role that commercial spaces can play in facilitating social connections. To date, however, this research has not focused on the important role that these commercial friendships and spaces can play in facilitating an individual’s recovery efforts after a major disaster like a tornado, hurricane or flood. It has also not focused on the effect that major disasters can have on commercial ties. Moreover, while the sociological literature on post-disaster recovery has emphasized the important role of social capital, it has not emphasized the role that social networks developed within commercial contexts can play in helping individuals to rebound from disaster. This article is an effort to fill these gaps in the literature. Using interview data collected in the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina, we argue and describe how meaningful social bonds that emerge out of and are facilitated by commercial activity as well as the social spaces provided by commercial entities can facilitate community rebound after a major disaster.

Keywords: Disaster recovery Hurricane Katrina, Social spaces Commercial spaces Social capital

Suggested Citation

Chamlee-Wright, Emily L. and Storr, Virgil Henry, Commercial Relationships and Spaces after Disaster (2014). Society Vol. 51 No. 6, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2711351

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/

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