[URBANTH-L]SUNTA with SfAA in Tampa (cont.)

David W. Haines dhaines1 at gmu.edu
Mon May 29 09:29:54 EDT 2006

The following is expanded information on one of
the sessions proposed for Tampa next spring.
If this is of interest to you, please contact Art

-- David Haines, SUNTA Program Chair

Relayed from Art Hansen:

         art.hansen at mindspring.com


The theme for my session is a focus on what we know (or have learned) in
general about disasters and displacement. I do not want specific case
studies, but rather generalized statements, explications, and defenses of
our findings from years of experience and case studies, i.e., the
principles (concepts, processes, relationships, correlations, etc.) of
disasters in general and displacement in general. These principles (or
lessons learned) might be broad or quite detailed, since we may now
know specific details that generally occur, but I want those details to be
generally applicable rather than based on analyzing a specific case.

I am defining both "disaster" and "displacement" inclusively rather than
narrowly. A disaster might be triggered by a hurricane (mistakenly or
misleadingly, in my opinion, called a natural disaster) or caused/triggered
by warfare and civil disturbance. Disasters would include what used to be
called complex humanitarian emergencies.

In the session, displacement as a category would undoubtedly feature and
focus on displacement that includes geographic movement/migration as well
as forms of "replacement" (repatriation, resettlement, integration, etc.),
but may also include social, cultural, and economic displacement in which
the actors do not transit physical space. For instance, I consider what was
termed "future shock" as well as the loss of familiar status, community, or
way of life (what I think of as displacement in place) to be part of an
overarching conceptualization of displacement. Examples would include an
understanding of what happens to retirees, the elderly, and the responses
of Anglo Miami residents in the 1970s to the continuing large-scale influx
of Cuban refugees -- a quote from that time was, "Will the last American to
leave Miami please bring the flag?"

Obviously many of our general principles of displacement that characterize
refugees, IDPs, and victims of Katrina will not hold true for all of the
situations fitting into this broad category, but some of our principles may
extend across a broader range than we originally envisioned.

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