Mark bahnisch rmit sociology of social media and disasters
THE SOCIOLOGY OF SOCIAL MEDIA ANDDISASTERS: THE BRISBANE FLOODS 2011RMIT DISASTER MANAGEMENT ANDRESILIENCE SYMPOSIUM29 NOVEMBER 2012 Dr Mark Bahnisch Fellow of the Centre for Policy Development Research Fellow, School of Medicine, The University of Queensland Sessional Lecturer, School of Population Health, The University of Queensland
THE SOCIOLOGY OF SOCIAL CRISES Social class most significant predictor of awareness of flood risk (Burningham et al 2008) “Disasters expose our social structure more sharply than other important events.” (Perrow 2007: 3) „Natural‟ disasters are social events (Burgess 2006) Disasters „deritualise‟ (Thornburg et al 2007); posing problems for meaning and action. Communications assist sense giving and communal processes reveal patterns of distributed and collective sense making (Kendra & Wachtendorf 2006) Disasters reveal an imagined community encompassing the interdependence of many smaller networks; this can lead to both resilience/solidarity and discord (Albright 2006) Social networks, repricocity and trust are important elements of „social resilience‟ (Patterson et al 2007) Panic is rare: emergent collective action combined with official response is optimal (Drabek & McEntire 2003)
IMAG(IN)ING THE FLOODED CITY The city is an imagined space (Bahnisch 2009) Recombinative urbanism (Shane 2007)
THE SOCIOLOGY OF SOCIAL MEDIA AND OFCRISES Trust: “Trust networks... contain ramified interpersonal connections, consisting mainly of strong ties, within which people set valued, consequential, long-term resources and enterprises at risk to the malfeasance, mistakes, or failures of others.” (Tilly 2007: 81) Repricocity and equality Equipotentiality of contribution (Bruns & Bahnisch 2009) Networks, weak ties and strong ties Connectivity, information and trust Community and culture Community as concentric circles (Bruns 2009) Equality and civic belonging (Wilkinson & Pickett 2009) Social resilience, emergent action and a social media heterotopia?
RESEARCH QUESTIONS FOR THE FUTURE To what degree could there be a meaningful difference in experience of the floods and social resilience between strong, occasional and non social media users? How were the floods conceptualised by social media users? To what degree did social media effects diffuse more generally, and how? How did distributed processes of „sense making‟ impact on collective responses? What indicators might be valid for comparison between the experience of the Brisbane floods and comparable events elsewhere? How measurable is community resilience? (Sherrieb et al 2010) What can we learn about the levels of and causes of social resilience in Brisbane from this experience? What are the lessons for emergency management, community disaster response and communications?
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