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Title: Surviving the wave : reconstruction after the tsunami on the south-western coast of Sri Lanka
Author: Senaratne, Sunari Chandrima Fernando
ISNI:       0000 0004 6061 7440
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2016
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My research is concerned with the way in which a coastal community in south-western Sri Lanka, affected by the Asian tsunami of 2004, has rebuilt itself. Prior to the disaster the social processes of this community involved individuals with different levels of capital and capacity (following Bourdieu), using the alliances available to them, to pursue the aspirations of their choice. My concern in this study is the impact of the tsunami on these social processes. In particular, I want to explain how in rebuilding their lives, the people of this village reproduced core aspirations, relationships and values, even while the effects of the tsunami -- on trajectories and outcomes for different households -- varied. The village was one in which the spatial organisation was such that the western half was involved in fishing, while the eastern half pursued other occupations. It was a village undergoing significant shifts in social arrangement, and the tsunami amplified rather than disrupted some of these trends. I am also interested in the inter-play between the local community and various external actors in the processes of reconstruction, particularly in the role played by the State and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). I introduce my research by identifying some of the major issues which bear on my problem, as well as the themes of the disaster literature. Then, I describe the community which is the focus of this research, and the damage that it suffered in the aftermath of the tsunami. This is followed by a discussion of my theoretical and methodological approaches. Finally, I analyse the manner in which various initiatives in relation to relief and reconstruction, fed into the social processes of this community.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral