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GEOG 221 Lecture 2.2.docx

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GEOG 221
Nancy Ross

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GEOG 221 Lecture 2.2 (Jan. 15 , 2013) The Social Disaster Before the Hurricane Framing: a way of understanding the world Natural Frame – fate – how hurricanes form, etc. hurricane hits a city (fate… can’t do anything about it) Social Frame – fault – social problems arising before/after the hurricane, someone is at fault New York City  -evokes images of wealth, power, population, arts, high lifestyle, financial center, one of the biggest cities in the world  maybe think of crime  very divided economically o 21% in poverty o gap between rich and poor is enormous (inequality rivals parts of sub-Saharan Africa) o only a handful of developing countries (Namibia, Sierra Leone) have higher inequality rates New York City inequality:  social/economical differences obvious when natural disasters hit: o rich/socially advantaged: could take time off work, leave new york o others: stuck in NYC, still working, leave their families at home, not able to go home or leave New Orleans  unique even by US standards of inequality  dismal health record (infant mortality, adult mortality, homicide, diabetes, heart disease)  ongoing disaster before the hurricane hit – poverty, inadequate housing, health care, education o a lot of people owned their homes before the storm hit but didn’t have insurance so they had to cope with rebuilding their homes on their own, facing the damage alone  highest rate of uninsured (health, home)  natural disaster hit a population unable to cope GRAPH (VERY IMPORTANT, IN MIDTERM/FINAL) Median share of income: measure of income distribution/inequality (gap between top and bottom) – how much of the city’s income is received with the bottom half of the population – bottom Working age (25-64) mortality rate – side Income becomes less of a social marker as you age, biological marker: factors in society bearing on people affect younger people more than 70-90 years old people Share of the city’s income that is received by the poorer half of the population: in equal places, half the people get half the income. In places like NY and New Orleans, most of total income goes to top half Working age mortality seems to be higher in the most unequal places Regression fit: income distribution predicts mortality in US In instances of natural disasters, this income distribution inequality increases the issues and problems Canadians: much less relationship People in bottom half have harder time dealing with natural disasters and their repercussions than people in upper half (SOCIAL INEQUALITY INCREASES PROBLEMS CAUSED BY NATURAL DISASTERS) Poverty and Lack of a Vehicle in New Orleans:  28% living in poverty prior to Katrina  54% of poor households: no vehicle (64% of poor elderly households)  everyone who could leave should leave, otherwise (too poor, no car, no connections, chronic illness, no resources) go to Superdome Dangers of Everyday Urban Extremes  concentrated poverty and abandonment increases risks of crime, disease, violence, isolation  impoverished areas of the city are out of sight, seen only on the evening news – makes shared decision making difficult (out of sight, out of mind)  segregated poor areas become highly needy and unable to generate property taxes to provide high quality health-enhancing public services (eg schools, health care, recreational areas) to their populations o out of sight, out of mind areas: local government forgets about these areas that need the most help and they cannot provide for themselves Recovery: incredibly difficult for segregated poor areas New Orleans: comparison of 2 neighborhoods Lakeview: very flooded, but very little damage – many demolition permits, more new home permits – richer neighborhood Lowe
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