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Disasters dynamics and links with other crises: proposition of a framework for the improvement of civil protection policies and social resilience

Abstract

In the perspective of the Social Sciences, disaster is a crisis (i.e., a sudden and unexpected tragic social event) delimited by a social space and a social time, which are indissociably connected. It presents acute and chronic stages, which may have links with other social crises crossing the life trajectory or routines of the implied individuals. Considering the diversity of fluxes (interactions) in the social life and the distinct connections of meaning that social subjects construct between the different scales of their existence (i.e. the links established in macro and micro-social levels), the specific dynamics of functioning from social systems (e.g. of political, economic or environmental nature) would lead to or intensify disasters and vice-versa (by cumulative effects, opposition or synergy). These make disasters an object of study of increasing complexity and in need of analysis from Social Sciences. However, there is still an absence of deep systematic studies in this field of knowledge able to uncover the deep complex social meshwork, especially in Brazilian context. This has implied the fragility of scientific discussions about the links between public policies of civil protection and the demands of subjects who experience disasters with a web of multiple crises.Taking disasters in focus, these issues need a connection of them with structural and circumstantial elements of social instabilities such as: (a) the sudden scarcity of resources (in public finances, credit policies, employment and income), (b) the corrosion of social trust in state institutions and their capability to protect citizenship rights, and (c) the growth of uncertainties (political, economic and environmental). Therefore, this study has the objective of provide a comprehensive analytical framework, which explain the links between the dynamics of disasters with other crises. This study starts from a qualitative sociological perspective, through documentary research integrated with literature review, towards an interdisciplinary dialogue and approach to complex systems. The aim is to obtain results that can contribute to the improvement policies of support of affected groups, and community resilience strategies. (AU)

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