IF THIS THING HAD NEVER HAPPENED: MOVING ON FROM HURRICANE KATRINA by

Daina Harvey, Daina Harvey
unpublished
It has been suggested that understanding Hurricane Katrina and the federal levee failures requires a paradigm shift within sociology. Disaster and risk, race, class and inequality, urban sociology, and the sociology of trust, to name but a few areas within the discipline have all been recast since Katrina. The people who experienced Katrina also experienced a paradigm shift of sorts. The trauma and suffering Katrina inflicted upon residents of New Orleans has resulted for many in a change in
more » ... y in a change in expectations about the future, a change in the ways they interact with others, a change in their cultural practices, a change in the way they think about the world. My dissertation focuses on evacuees who decided to return to the Lower Ninth Ward in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In the five years since Katrina evacuees have been forced to make life altering decisions, strategize about the future, negotiate the past, and deal with confusion and uncertainty. The major question this study addresses is how do people move on from major collective events. In particular I am interested in the cultural and cognitive tools people use to form long term strategies of action after major acts of social disruption. In examining how people have moved on from Hurricane Katrina, I provide a detailed analysis of how culture both iii enables and constrains. I also focus on the lived experience of suffering, including what people do with suffering and what suffering does to people. iv Acknowledgments
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