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Title: Communication practices and social media usage by government agencies and citizens during post-disaster reconstruction
Author: Tagliacozzo, S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7225 2223
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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Communication is an essential element in the preparation for, response to and recovery from disasters. Although rapid advancement of new information technologies over the last decade has fuelled academic and practitioners’ interest, there has been little research on disaster communications and the role of social media during the long-term post-disaster reconstruction phase (PDR). The originality of this research rests in the fact that it seeks to build theoretical and empirical knowledge about recovery communication processes by government agencies and citizens, which encompass social media- mediated communications. Building on a naturalistic paradigm and a communication ecology perspective, in-depth analyses were conducted in two post-disaster settings: the earthquakes of 2012 in Emilia-Romagna, Italy, and the Canterbury, New Zealand, earthquake of 2011. Various dimensions were factored into the analysis that encompassed the communication system (i.e. sender and receiver of recovery information, channels, targets and potential noises), the specifics of the reconstruction contexts and the culture in which communication activities took place. A mixture of qualitative and quantitative methodology was applied. Once within-case analysis was completed, the findings from the two studies were compared in order to identify common regularities. The comparison revealed that influential factors of recovery communications and social media uses are related to cultural, contextual, social and individual domains but that some practices can be attributed to the demands and peculiarities of the PDR phase. They can therefore potentially be extended to different reconstruction settings. A set of theoretical propositions was derived from the cross-cases comparison and from the interpretation of empirical evidences in the light of academic literature. At the end of the thesis, propositions are organised within a general theoretical framework that outlines characteristics of the communication processes and social media usage during PDR. This dissertation concludes with two models that serve as a thinking tool to guide government officers and citizens in building effective two-way dialogue after disasters.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available