Contested Uncertainty and the BP Catastrophe: Lessons from the Valdez Disaster* Dr. J. Steven Picou Professor of Sociology University of South Alabama Presentation given to the Little Lagoon Preservation Society, Jan. 18, 2011. Background. Over the last two decades:
Contested Uncertainty and the BP Catastrophe: Lessons from the Valdez Disaster*Dr. J. Steven PicouProfessor of SociologyUniversity of South AlabamaPresentation given to the Little Lagoon Preservation Society, Jan. 18, 2011.
Over the last two decades:
The Exxon Valdez Aground on Bligh Reef
Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Clean-up
Natural DisastersTechnological Disasters
*S.R Couch, 1996. “Environmental Contamination, Community transformation and The Centrulia Mine Fire” in J.K.Mitchell (ed.) The Long Road to Recovery. Tokyo. UN Press
The dysfunctional effects of technological disasters on impacted communities characterized by the breakdown of social relationships, the fragmentation of community groups, family conflict and the use of self-isolation as a primary coping strategy. The lack of sympathetic behavior from non-victims, combined with declining support capabilities of local mental health programs, results in a pattern of continuing deterioration of community culture and organization.
The socially integrative effects disasters have on an impacted community in the aftermath of disaster characterized by an outpouring of altruistic feelings and behavior. The therapeutic community includes the generally sympathetic behavior on the part of non-victims which helps compensate for the sorrow and stress many community members are experiencing with an unexpected abundance of personal warmth and direct help.4
*Freudenberg, W.R. and T.R. Jones. 1991. “Attitudes and Stress in the Presence of Technological Disaster: A Test of the Supreme Court Hypothesis” Social Forces 69(4) 1143-1168.
values and norms
*Picou, J.S. and B.K. Marshall. 2007. “Katrina as Paradigm Shift” In D. Brunsama, D. Overfelt and J.S. Picou. The Sociology of Katrina. Rowman-Littlefield Publishers.
*Chamlee-Wright, Emily. 2006. After the Storm: Social Capital Regrouping in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina. Global Prosperity Initiative. Arlington, VA: Mercatus Center, George Mason University.
April 21, 2010:
In a Wednesday, May 19, 2010 photo, Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser and La. Gov. Bobby Jindal tour through the Roseau Grasses that mark the coastline of Southeast Louisiana at Pass a Loutre at the mouth of the Mississippi River where oil has washed ashore. (AP Photo/The Times-Picayune, Ted Jackson)
West of the Pensacola Beach Gulf Fishing Pier the beaches along the 1000 block of Fort Pickens Road are covered with oil Wednesday afternoon, 6/23/2010.
The state's emergency management site posted this photo of a tar mat about 75 yards long and 12 feet wide, spotted today in the Ono Island channel in the Perdido Bay area. (Florida Department of Emergency Management)
Families Awaiting Word, April 22, 2010
“It’s not like Katrina, where we can say in a year or two or maybe three we will get our lives back together. Right now…It’s if we are never going to get our lives back together.”
St. Bernard Parish Resident USA Today, June 18.
“I just cry all the time. I can’t stop. My husband now works on the clean-up because he cannot shrimp. We have not talked to each other in a month. I do not think our marriage will survive the spill.”
Venice, LA resident, June 22