Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Katrina, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill—major disasters galvanize much attention and scrutiny. But acclaimed disaster researcher Gregory Button argues that, for each iconic event that looms large in the public consciousness, there are hundreds of shadow disasters: networks of conditions and linked events that make major calamities all too predictable. Button argues for a new approach to understanding and researching disasters, one that sees them not as isolated accidents but as processual phenomena that articulate fundamental organizing principles of our culture. As catastrophes become more frequent and research findings on disasters grow, this book offers a crucial framework for researchers as well as journalists, policy makers, planners, environmentalists, and professionals in related fields.
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Gregory Button is Assistant Professor in the Anthropology Department at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where he is co- founder and co-director of the Disasters, Displacement and Human Rights program and Division Head (Disasters) of the Center for the Study of Social Justice. Dr. Button is an internationally recognized disaster researcher who has over thirty years of experience studying extreme events. Formerly he was a reporter and producer for public radio and a U.S. Congressional Fellow working with the late Senator Paul Wellstone (D-MN). He has conducted extensive scholarly field research on numerous disasters, including the Exxon-Valdez Oil spill, the Mississippi floods of 1993, Hurricane Katrina, The Shetland Islands Oil Spill, the Sea Empress oil spill (Wales), the TVA ash spill, the BP Deepwater spill, the nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan, and Hurricane Sandy. Dr. Button is author of Disaster Culture: Knowledge and Uncertainty in the Wake of Human and Environmental Catastrophe (2010) and numerous scholarly articles and book chapters and is frequently interviewed and consulted in news media.
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