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Representations of disaster in emergency preparedness scenarios
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Social Sciences. (Risk and Crisis Research Centre)
2013 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

2012 was a good year for the disaster fiction genre in Sweden. Two of the most talked about novels are Fallvatten by Mikael Niemi and Det som inte växer är döende by Jesper Weithz. The former depicts a dam break and subsequent tsunami in the north of Sweden, while the latter tells a story about a family experiencing the threats and dangers encountered in the wake of a fragile, almost disintegrated, societal and individual safety net. A reviewer in a major newspaper appointed Weithz’s novel the best literary interpreter of Ulrich Beck’s risk society thesis so far. The events occurring in these fictional accounts (dam break, tsunami, snowstorm, aircraft hijack, etc.) are also found in scenarios used in emergency preparedness exercises. The same story is told but the purpose differs.

When rational calculation is no longer enough to capture the unthinkable or the unexpected, imagined scenarios are employed to construct knowledge about how to act on that uncertain future. Literary representations and narratives of emergency and disaster become intertwined with emergency and disaster management. The aim of the present paper is to explore and analyse representations of disaster in emergency preparedness scenarios. The questions guiding this work are focused on how such scenarios are constructed, what kind of knowledge is acquired, and what are the possible effects on peoples’ understandings and expectations of disaster? In other words, what are the implications for disaster culture when concepts like “fact” and “fiction” dissolve?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013.
Keyword [en]
representation, scenarios, emergency preparedness, fiction, knowledge
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-23369OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-23369DiVA: diva2:761477
Conference
Cultures of Disasters. An International Conference on Humanistic Disaster Studies, University of Oslo November 6–8, 2013
Available from: 2014-11-06 Created: 2014-11-06 Last updated: 2014-12-03Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf