SOC 350 Sociology of Disaster

This course will focus on understanding the nature of disasters and the social impact of disaster on communities. The first decade in the 21st century has seen many major disasters, beginning in 2001 with the terrorist disaster of 9/11, in 2003 European heat wave, in 2004 the natural disasters of the Indian Ocean Tsunami that killed 230,000, in 2005 the Kashmir earthquake that killed 86,000 in Pakistan, in 2005 Hurricane Katrina, in 2007 the shootings at Virginia Tech, in 2008 the Sichuan earthquake in China, in 2010 the Russian heat wave and Haiti earthquake, in 2011 the combined natural and man-made disaster of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan which led to the meltdown of Fukushima nuclear power plant, the very destructive 2011 tornado season in the southeastern United States, and the 2011 BP oil spill in the Gulf Coast. Students will learn how communities plan for and respond to disasters, and the dynamics of disaster responses, including the political and economic impacts. Students will develop greater understanding of community involvement responding to disasters by completing several EMI modules.