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Disaster, organization, and temporariness.
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Social Sciences. (RCR)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1203-1544
2014 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

One intersection between studies of organization and of disaster, that is seldom theoretically explored, is temporal delimitation. The well-known before–during–after trichotomisation of disaster studies is an indication of the inherent temporariness of disasters. Organization, on the other hand, is usually associated with stability and continuity. However, temporary aspects of organization have during recent decades attracted increased attention from researchers. In this paper, disaster management is regarded as a form of temporary organization. The aim of the paper is to provide a categorisation of different forms of temporary organization in which different aspects of disaster management can be placed. In connection with a recent discussion in organizational sociology, "organization" is here regarded as a form of social order (comparable with other social orders, like institution and network) rather than as a formal social structure; a phenomenon can be organized to different degrees, and some phenomena are only partially organized. The least common denominator of organization is that it is a decided order. Without a decision, no organization, not even a partial one. Here, a distinction is made between full organization and different forms of partial organization, the latter consisting of mixes of organization and other social orders; a phenomenon may be a mix of organization and institution (if it, e.g., rests heavily on rules, norms and beliefs) or a mix of organization and network (if it lacks a clear formal hierarchy). Organization is a widespread form of social order. Many such phenomena are temporally delimited. Here a distinction is made, regarding the nature of temporariness, between known and unknown time-frames. The latter (when it is not known when a phenomenon will take place) is characterised by a higher degree of uncertainty. Disaster management belong to this category. Different aspects of disaster management are analysed with this theoretical framework.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-23885OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-23885DiVA: diva2:773250
Conference
XVIII International Sociological Association World Congress of Sociology. Yokohama, Japan, July 13th-19th.
Available from: 2014-12-18 Created: 2014-12-18 Last updated: 2014-12-18Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • vancouver
  • Other style
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  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
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  • nn-NB
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