Title

Exploring Narratives of Daily Life in the Context of Disaster

Presenter Information

Dikaios Sakellariou
Nickl Pollard

Start Time

25-10-2008 3:40 PM

End Time

25-10-2008 4:10 PM

Abstract

Occupation, i.e. participation in daily life, is a right but access to it is often compromised, as for example after natural disasters. Natural disasters can be conceptualised as the dynamic interaction of natural hazards with underlying vulnerabilities of a population. Disasters impact the life of individuals and communities but their effect has traditionally been discussed by non-affected people. The experiences of affected people are rarely heard, precluding the possibility of constructing a common ground for understanding. The aim of this study is to construct narratives of occupation and daily life in the context of a disaster. To achieve this, this study will generate and collect data that will be synthesized into narratives, but will focus on illuminating individual experiences and how they are lived and told within the socio-political context from the unique vantage point and interpretation each informant possesses To illustrate the multifactorial discourse arising from the different positions of each social actor, the Bakhtinian concept of heteroglossia will be used. Heteroglossia refers to the multiple discourses operative in every society which regulate access to resources, including power and representation. The construction of a common language does not eradicate the possibility of misinterpretation, as it perpetuates power differentials. Acknowledging heteroglossia enables us to accept reality's fragmented nature and recognize the multiple semantic networks within which individual experiences are grounded. The study will be guided by a narrative inquiry approach. Data will be generated through in-depth interviews, observation of daily practices, archival material, field notes, the researcher's reflective log and interviews with key informants. Data will be drawn together and integrated into a temporally organized whole through narrative analysis. The analysis will favour an acceptance of heteroglossia instead of the construction of a common language. Giving voice to individual experiences of occupation and daily life after a disaster is important for the development of synergistic approaches where people are enabled to participate in programme planning in culturally appropriate ways. It is in the exploration of these multiple narratives that the hope for the establishment of a common ground for understanding and action towards access to occupation lies.

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Oct 25th, 3:40 PM Oct 25th, 4:10 PM

Exploring Narratives of Daily Life in the Context of Disaster

Occupation, i.e. participation in daily life, is a right but access to it is often compromised, as for example after natural disasters. Natural disasters can be conceptualised as the dynamic interaction of natural hazards with underlying vulnerabilities of a population. Disasters impact the life of individuals and communities but their effect has traditionally been discussed by non-affected people. The experiences of affected people are rarely heard, precluding the possibility of constructing a common ground for understanding. The aim of this study is to construct narratives of occupation and daily life in the context of a disaster. To achieve this, this study will generate and collect data that will be synthesized into narratives, but will focus on illuminating individual experiences and how they are lived and told within the socio-political context from the unique vantage point and interpretation each informant possesses To illustrate the multifactorial discourse arising from the different positions of each social actor, the Bakhtinian concept of heteroglossia will be used. Heteroglossia refers to the multiple discourses operative in every society which regulate access to resources, including power and representation. The construction of a common language does not eradicate the possibility of misinterpretation, as it perpetuates power differentials. Acknowledging heteroglossia enables us to accept reality's fragmented nature and recognize the multiple semantic networks within which individual experiences are grounded. The study will be guided by a narrative inquiry approach. Data will be generated through in-depth interviews, observation of daily practices, archival material, field notes, the researcher's reflective log and interviews with key informants. Data will be drawn together and integrated into a temporally organized whole through narrative analysis. The analysis will favour an acceptance of heteroglossia instead of the construction of a common language. Giving voice to individual experiences of occupation and daily life after a disaster is important for the development of synergistic approaches where people are enabled to participate in programme planning in culturally appropriate ways. It is in the exploration of these multiple narratives that the hope for the establishment of a common ground for understanding and action towards access to occupation lies.