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Title: Technologies of recovery : plans and situated realities after disaster
Author: Easthope, Lucy Catherine
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2012
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This study began in the summer of 2007, when parts of the UK experienced exceptionally high rainfall and were devastated by flood water. It is an ethnography of the residents and responders in one flooded village: of the relationships that are formed, the houses that are rebuilt, the personal items that are missed or thrown away, and the places that are lost or compacted. It is also a reflection on the changing role of the researcher as an insider in emergency planning who became entangled in the life of the village. The health and social consequences of flooding, and more specifically the loss of home, a sense of security, space and possessions, have been documented in a number of studies. Some of these consequences have also become the focus of UK government attention. How well people recover from flooding events is seen to have a direct bearing on individual, community and economic wellbeing. A plethora of instruments: checklists, templates and guidance documents have been produced by government planners to effect this recovery. In this study I define these as technologies of recovery within a wider context of emergency planning which has at its core the aim of bringing order to complex and messy times. Technologies of recovery endeavour to place a framework over a complex process where much is uncertain, reactive and dependent on individual and ad hoc social relations. Like many other areas of health and social policy, while such protocols are not necessarily unwelcome, they carry many assumptions. I demonstrate that these are built on official narratives where much has been left unseen or unsaid. The final product is distilled and compromised; blind to the situated practices that remain hidden. Drawing on literature from science and technology studies, human geography and disaster research this study shows how technologies of recovery are transformed in localised practice; enabling actions to happen that are entwined with a community's own existing strength and resilience. The contribution of this thesis is to show, through a case study that makes visible the practices that are often hidden, how localised emergency responders find ways to collaborate with residents. In an informal network they do different with the instruments to co-produce regeneration and survivance within a community.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available