THE NORTHRIDGE EARTHQUAKE
Who is at risk of disaster?Are earthquakes natural disasters?‘Natural’ disasters have more to do with the social, political, and economicaspects of society than they do with the environmental hazards that triggerthem. Disasters occur at the interface of vulnerable people and hazardousenvironments. People’s vulnerability is a result of inequalities in their accessto resources and in their exposures to risk, and is compounded through poverty,discrimination, political powerlessness, and other conditions that cause socialand economic disadvantage. Disaster reveals particular features of people’svulnerabilities as they struggle to cope with disruptions and loss.This book concentrates on the social aspects of disaster, focusing on themost expensive disaster to date in US history, the Northridge earthquake of 1994, to examine facets of vulnerability and post-disaster recovery strategies.Surveying the historical and contemporary aspects of life in Southern Californiathe author explains how vulnerability to disaster in California has been shapedby more than a century of immigration, urbanization, environmentaltransformations, and economic development.Examining other recent disasters alongside Northridge, this book providesa global view of the social effects of disaster in developed and developingcountries. An invaluable insight into the field for students, academics, andprofessionals in anthropology, geography, sociology, environmental studies,and emergency management,
The Northridge Earthquake
discusses keyaspects of sustainable development and state policy and concludes withconsiderations of ways that vulnerability can be reduced in the future.
is Professor of Sociology at Arizona State University.