Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.779236
Title: Surviving the disasters : an ethnographic account of Japan 3.11 survivors' coping strategies with the risk of radiation
Author: De Togni, Giulia
ISNI:       0000 0004 7964 9362
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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Abstract:
This ethnographic study critically engages with recent theoretical writings on risk, affects and informal life politics by way of investigating the Fukushima survivors' coping strategies with the nuclear crisis. In Japan, conflicting information about the levels of radiation released and the likely health effects, forced the local populations to self-determine whether to leave, or to stay and face possible long-term biological repercussions. Different interpretations of risk resulted in social tensions on multiple levels in Fukushima, particularly along gender lines. This monograph links such local struggles to the frictions between two incommensurable stories, one of control and normalcy where risks are domesticated and absorbed into the social, and the other voicing concerns that challenge technologies of abstraction and regimes of risk of toxic exposure. Nuclear disasters reveal concealed problems of risk insecurity, and demand the affected populations to actively cope with changing political, moral and biomedical circumstances. Transformative social processes led the Fukushima survivors to apply rational decisions to their embodied sensibilities surrounding radiation, and to adopt a uniquely reflexive future orientation which is embedded in their practices of self-government, and in their new expanded horizons of expectation as neoliberal agents of social change. Through my collection of the Fukushima survivors' narratives, I contribute to building cultural continuity and historical awareness of how these people have survived, and have restored their family and community life in zones of ruination and state abandonment. Here, personal stories of displacement and suffering, but also of resilience and hope find their voice. Moreover, through a detailed comparison with the conditions of the Chernobyl victims, I place current events in Japan in a longer historical context and wider geographical setting. Ultimately, I reinforce understandings of post-nuclear disaster societies, and build-up an archive of social and cultural changes in times of crisis.
Supervisor: Pillen, A. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.779236  DOI: Not available
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