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Title: Realism, social constructionism and 'natural' hazards : a study of people-nature relations in Egypt and the U.K.
Author: Homan, Jacqueline.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3581 0597
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 1998
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Recent literature in the social sciences has emphasized the socially constructed nature of knowledge. Consequently, this has had a bearing upon the understanding of science; interpretations of the natural world; and issues associated with understanding 'the Other'. The relevance of these wider social debates can be extended into a consideration of 'natural' hazards in different cultural contexts. This thesis attempts to develop a 'middle ground', drawing on theories of critical realism, that appreciates the socially constructed nature of scientific practice, but that retains the empancipatory, positive potential of science and that allows intervention in other cultural contexts. The remainder of the thesis attempts to put some of these ideas into practice and to develop the implications of these arguments for those interested in understanding and mitigating 'natural' hazards in other cultures. Two case studies are used, relating to Egypt and the U.K., which explore the scientific understandings of 'natural' hazard events in two different cultural contexts. Fundamental to the approach adopted is the need to acknowledge science as a social practice and how it functions within different societies. Examples are given, pertaining to both Egypt and the U.K., of what this might mean in 'practice'. In summary, therefore, there is an appreciation of the implications of recent social science literature for hazards research and the development of a practical approach to hazards with a social and philosophical justification
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Radical critique; Discourse; Modernity