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Gender And Rescue Services In Crisis Management Research

1509 words - 6 pages

Gender and Rescue services in Crisis Management research
Research on crisis often discusses decision making in crisis and have been developed by scholars in political science like Hermann (1963) Allison (1971) George (1980) and Vertzberg (1990). This research has often focused on crisis and decision making in international politics. In Sweden there are research concerning different aspects of crisis, as crisis communication, learning after crisis, relations between public and private. During the 1990’s research about crisis more broadly as a social and technological crisis have developed (´t Hart, Charles and Parker 1989, Rosenthal, Boin and Comfort 2001). In a Swedish context research on crisis management have been developed by Sundelius, Stern och Bynander (1997) och Stern och Sundelius (1997).

In the mainstream crisis management literature analyses on gender and gendered practices are not often addressed. Often, even dominating male structures in crisis management organizations, male leadership positions, and decision making groups are not discussed in relation to gendered practices. In other words how gender is constructed within crisis organizations is not problematized. There are one research field in the crisis management and emergency management literature that do address gender. That is in the international research field of gender and disaster studies. Within gender and disaster studies literature gender is seen as in interaction with for example race and ethnicity and often focus are on a whole societies and complex dimensions and dynamics of the population in who get affected by a disaster and a crisis. Often the main focus is on women and on women’s personal experiences of a crisis.

The research field of gender and disaster studies
Alexander David (1993) argues that the literature on disaster usually has six approaches: Geographical, development studies, technical, anthropological, sociological and disaster medicine. Disaster studies for example include studies on the crisis management of disaster, as for example the co-ordination of organizations that play critical roles in the emergency management of a disaster. (Gillespie et al 1992, Gillespie and Colignon 1993) Barton (1974) argues that disasters are a severe, relatively sudden and unexpected disruption of normal structural arrangements within a social system over which the system has no firm control. Other researchers talks about disaster as a period of “social crisis” (Qurantelli and Dynes 1977). In the anthology Hurricane Andrew, Ethnicity, gender and the sociology of disaster, 1997 ed. by Walter Gillis Peacock, Betty Hearn Morrow and Hugh Gladwin the authors analyze the neglect of gender in disaster work. Elaine Enarson and Morrow argue that women in general are “overlooked”, particularly in relation to women’s experiences of a crisis and disaster. (Enarson and Morrow 1997, Fothergill 1996). They quote Shaw (1989:13) that argues:
In any society in which...

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