It can happen anytime: experts dealing with the risk of a future İstanbul earthquake

Neumann, Laura Elise (2018) It can happen anytime: experts dealing with the risk of a future İstanbul earthquake. [Thesis]

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This research focuses on the ways in which Istanbul earthquake professionals, i.e. members of civil society organizations for disaster preparation and search and rescue, scientists, engineers, and civil planners, navigate the current preparations for a strong earthquake that is forecasted to affect the city at some point in the coming decades. While state institutions have implemented several programs and are facilitating urban transformation projects in the name of preparing the city for an earthquake, I argue this a neoliberal governing approach, which I refer to as “disaster neoliberalism,” has displaced the burden of preparation largely to individual residents of the city while disempowering some civil society organizations and privileging private companies. At the same time, this burden on individuals increases as class status decreases. Furthermore, I demonstrate that my expert interviewees occupied a complicated position, the limits of which they navigated through the use of laughter and humor. I show that in many cases, they oppose the cynicism concerning earthquake preparations that is all too prevalent within the city through their professional and personal initiative. At the same time, this thesis argues that the common narrative that inaction about preparations is part of “Turkish culture” may reinforce this cynical view and may be problematic for future disaster preparations due to its reliance on an idea of cultural essentialism and Occidentalism.
Item Type: Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: Experts. -- Earthquake. -- Risk. -- Istanbul. -- Humor. -- Uzmanlar. -- Deprem. -- Risk. -- İstanbul. -- Mizah.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Academic programs > Cultural Studies
Depositing User: IC-Cataloging
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2018 09:51
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2022 10:27

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