Susan Cutter developed an integrative approach hazard of place , which tries to consider both multiple geo- and biophysical hazards on the one hand as well as social vulnerabilities on the other hand Cutter, Mitchell et al. Recently, Oliver-Smith grasped the nature-culture dichotomy by focusing both on the cultural construction of the people-environment-relationship and on the material production of conditions that define the social vulnerability of people Oliver-Smith and Hoffman Research on social vulnerability to date has stemmed from a variety of fields in the natural and social sciences.
Each field has defined the concept differently, manifest in a host of definitions and approaches Blaikie, Cannon et al. Yet some common threads run through most of the available work. Although considerable research attention has examined components of biophysical vulnerability and the vulnerability of the built environment Mileti, , we currently know the least about the social aspects of vulnerability Cutter et al.
Socially created vulnerabilities are largely ignored, mainly due to the difficulty in quantifying them. Social vulnerability is created through the interaction of social forces and multiple stressors, and resolved through social as opposed to individual means. Social vulnerability is partially the product of social inequalities—those social factors that influence or shape the susceptibility of various groups to harm and that also govern their ability to respond Cutter et al.
It is, however, important to note that social vulnerability is not registered by exposure to hazards alone, but also resides in the sensitivity and resilience of the system to prepare, cope and recover from such hazards Turner et al. However, it is also important to note, that a focus limited to the stresses associated with a particular vulnerability analysis is also insufficient for understanding the impact on and responses of the affected system or its components Mileti, ; Kaperson et al.
These issues are often underlined in attempts to model the concept see Models of Social Vulnerability.
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Two of the principal archetypal reduced-form models of social vulnerability are presented, that have informed vulnerability analysis: the Risk-Hazard RH model and the Pressure and Release model. Some authors criticise the conceptualisation of social vulnerability for overemphasising the social, political and economical processes and structures that lead to vulnerable conditions.
Inherent in such a view is the tendency to understand people as passive victims Hewitt and to neglect the subjective and intersubjective interpretation and perception of disastrous events. Bankoff criticises the very basis of the concept, since in his view it is shaped by a knowledge system that was developed and formed within the academic environment of western countries and therefore inevitably represents values and principles of that culture.
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According to Bankoff the ultimate aim underlying this concept is to depict large parts of the world as dangerous and hostile to provide further justification for interference and intervention Bankoff The desire to understand geographic, historic, and socio-economic characteristics of social vulnerability motivates much of the research being conducted around the world today. The temporal and spatial aspects of vulnerability science are pervasive, particularly in research that attempts to demonstrate the impact of development on social vulnerability. Geographic Information Systems GIS are increasingly being used to map vulnerability, and to better understand how various phenomena hydrological, meteorological, geophysical, social, political and economic effect human populations.
Researchers have yet to develop reliable models capable of predicting future outcomes based upon existing theories and data. Designing and testing the validity of such models, particularly at the sub-national scale at which vulnerability reduction takes place, is expected to become a major component of social vulnerability research in the future. An even greater aspiration in social vulnerability research is the search for one, broadly applicable theory, which can be applied systematically at a variety of scales, all over the world.
Climate change scientists, building engineers, public health specialists, and many other related professions have already achieved major strides in reaching common approaches. Some social vulnerability scientists argue that it is time for them to do the same, and they are creating a variety of new forums in order to seek a consensus on common frameworks, standards, tools, and research priorities.
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Some disaster researchers argue that particular groups of people are placed disproportionately at-risk to hazards. Minorities, immigrants, women, children, the poor, as well as people with disabilities are among those have been identified as particularly vulnerable to the impacts of disaster Cutter et al. Since , the Spanish Red Cross has developed a set of indicators to measure the multi-dimensional aspects of social vulnerability. These indicators are generated through the statistical analysis of more than thousand people who are suffering of economic strain and social vulnerability, and who have a personal record containing variables at the Red Cross database.
An Index on Social Vulnerability in Spain is produced annually, both for adults and for children. Collective vulnerability is a state in which the integrity and social fabric of a community is or was threatened through traumatic events or repeated collective violence.
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She has written extensively on the impact public policy has on children and families. Her research interests include poverty, inequality, and social mobility across countries. Ruth McRoy has published over journal articles and book chapters, as well as ten books, including the well-known Openness in Adoption: Family Connections. Over the years, McRoy has received numerous research grants at the state and federal level.
Her work has focused on adoption and racial disproportionality in child welfare. She has received many awards and honors, including the Charles I. Wright Distinguished Alumna Award. His research interests include human diversity and culturally specific programming for children in out-of-home care. Cathryn Potter is a proven leader in social work research and education. Her scholarly work has focused attention on organizational culture and climate, with areas of interest on at-risk children and families. Potter has a special interest in minority over-representation and service disparity among children.
She is active in the community of social work and her research has been published worldwide. He oversees the structure and curriculum of one of the most prestigious social work programs in the country, and currently serves as the chair of the Academic Planning Committee. His research has been published globally with scholarship focus in forensic social work, psychotherapy, and substance abuse. She has served as the Executive Director of the Hauser Center at Harvard University and has brought social awareness to a variety of problems in the area.
Her work on social justice in public policy and poverty and inequity in urban environments has brought her international fame. His teaching specialties include civil rights, community practice, and program development with research focus in the areas of social justice and community empowerment.
Before accepting the appointment as dean of the social work program at Georgia, Daniels served as associate dean and director of the MSW program. He is an active civil rights and social reform leader and co-founder of the Athens Area Habitat for Humanity. Daniels has published numerous journal articles and leads a variety of campus organizations. She is a private practitioner who works as a liberation psychotherapist and life coach, with fieldwork in the areas of depression, anxiety, and addictions. Bernabei is a founding member of the Antiracist Alliance and has served as a director at Barnard College and Columbia University.
She is a recipient of the WestCOP Community Service Award and advocate for obtaining resources for low-income families and at-risk populations. A former dean and professor of social work, Haynes has authored and co-authored numerous books, articles, and publications on political social work.
Haynes is an advocate of community engagement and believes in making transformational regional impact.
Vulnerable People, Groups, And Populations: Societal View
A professor, director, leader, and investigator, Dr. Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes wears many hats for the field of social work. Pitt-Catsouphes' primary focus is social justice within the workplace and she has devoted much of her career examining factors that contribute to adverse employment among vulnerable populations. Her work is extensively published in scholarly and practitioner journals. In and , Pitt-Catsouphes was invited by the White House to participate in a forum and committee focusing on workplace flexibility.
Professor Emeritus at Baylor School of Social Work, Preston Dyer is one of the most familiar faces in the social work arena of academia. Dyer joined Baylor University in and served thirty years as the director of the undergraduate program. Prior to his many roles at Baylor, he worked as a clinical social worker in the area of mental health.
His research has focused on strong marriages and families, with publications in over academic and scholarly journals. Dyer and his wife are the former presidents of the Association for Couples in Marriage Enrichment. Brenda Rufener is an internationally published freelance writer and journalist living in North Carolina. She holds a graduate degree in Communications and undergraduate degrees in Biology and English.
- Handbook Of Social Work Practice With Vulnerable And Resilient Populations
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