Back to Normal: Gender and Disaster


Alway, Joan, Linda Liska Belgrave, and Kenneth J. Smith. 1998. “Back to Normal: Gender and Disaster.” Symbolic Interaction 21 (2): 175–95. doi:10.1525/si.1998.21.2.175.

Authors: Joan Alway, Linda Liska Belgrave, Kenneth J. Smith


Our earlier studies of Hurricane Andrew focused on the destruction of everyday life during the crisis itself and the reconstruction of a taken-for-granted world during the recovery period; this paper examines the significance of gender in these processes. The abrupt loss of taken-for-granted reality occasioned by the storm involved only a slight and momentary disruption of gender roles. The resilience of these roles can be understood only if gender is seen as a property of social organization that shapes not only interactional expectations and pressures, but also cultural and institutional processes, as well as bodily experiences.

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Gender Roles, Humanitarian Assistance Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 1998

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