A New Species of Trouble: The Human Experience of Modern Disasters

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W. W. Norton & Company, 1995 - 263 páginas
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As we move into a new technological age, disasters which are caused by human beings and involve radiation or some other form of toxicity are becoming more and more common. These disturbances are quite unlike all the floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural catastrophes that have buffeted humankind from the beginning. They contaminate persons and landscapes - indeed, human society itself - in new and special ways, and they add appreciably to the levels of distrust with which people face life. They are a new species of trouble, the author argues in this elegantly written volume. Kai Erikson, professor of sociology and American studies at Yale, has spent twenty years exploring such modern disasters. Using vivid descriptions and people's own words, he describes several communities visited by disaster: an Ojibwa Indian band in northwestern Ontario, damaged by a mercury spill; a migrant worker camp in south Florida, where Haitian farmhands learned that they had lost their life savings; a suburban community in Colorado, made toxic by an underground gasoline leak; the neighborhoods adjacent to the Three Mile Island nuclear plant near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. In the stories and feelings of the victims of these disasters, the author finds striking similarities. Fear, self-doubt, the erosion of a sense of security - the author finds these too among people who have suffered prolonged homelessness. These human experiences, the author says, add up to a form of trauma extending not just to individuals but to whole communities. In final chapters on the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the current debate about how to store America's growing inventory of high-level nuclear waste, the author shows how risks to individuals and the social fabric have heightened in the modern age. The seven gripping accounts in this book are his impassioned plea that we recognize this new species of trouble and do more to protect people from it.
 

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A NEW SPECIES OF TROUBLE: Explorations in Diaster, Trauma, and Community

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Erikson (Sociology/Yale) expands his earlier examination of communities under stress (Everything in Its Path, 1977) in an attempt to define a new kind of trauma that those victimized by man-made ... Leer comentario completo

Contenido

Prologue
11
The Ojibwa of Grassy Narrows
27
The Haitians of Immokalee
58
The View from East Swallow
99
A New Species of Trouble
139
Being Homeless
158
Of Accidental Judgments and
185
Good Riddance Bad
203
On Trauma
226
Notes
243
Acknowledgments
252
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