Uncertainty and Disaster Recovery: An Analysis of Victim Perceptions Utilizing the Problematic Integration Theory

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Social Science and Global Studies


Guided by the problematic integration theory, the purpose of this study was to determine what probabilistic and evaluative orientations were formed during post-disaster decision-making following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the 2011 Tuscaloosa Tornado, the 2011 Mississippi Delta flooding, and a pair of tornados in Hattiesburg Mississippi in 2013 and 2017. A series of focus groups were conducted in communities impacted by these disasters. Five different themes emerged when coding the focus group data for probabilistic and evaluative orientations formed: (1) Distrust, (2) Disorientation, (3) Desperation, (4) Disparity, and (5) Disconnection. The broader implications of this study shed light on how people handle personal uncertainty, especially in situations where their lives have been dramatically shifted in a negative way.

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Qualitative Research Reports In Communication

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