The Asian Tsunami, academics and academic research

Buranakul, Sophia, Grundy-Warr, Carl, Horton, Ben, Law, Lisa, Rigg, Jonathan, and Tan Poh, Mui (2005) The Asian Tsunami, academics and academic research. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 26 (2). pp. 244-248.

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In their editorial in the March 2005 issue of this journal, James Sidaway and Peggy Teo (2005:2) invited papers “that go beyond the (dramatic and disturbing) immediate media coverage of the tsunamis to unpick myriad geographies of the event, context and aftermath”. In another editorial, in Environment & Planning D, Jim Glassman (2005:168) highlights two “missing story lines”, namely “institutional and social culpability in failing to reduce the risks to less privileged Acehnese and Thais” and “the opportunistic use of Asian suffering by US leaders” (p. 169-70). Indeed, the disaster is being, and will be “read” – or used – by geographers to make a wide range of points – political, ethical, developmental and methodological. We suspect that they will share one thing: a desire to get away from, or beyond, the notion of the tsunami as “just” a natural disaster, albeit one of vast scale. In this intervention we discuss our own research agendas in the wake of the tsunami, and return to a set of comparatively well-worn themes at the interface of utility, positionality and ethics (see Proctor, 1998; Hamnett, 2003; and the special issue, SJTG, 2003, for related debates). As will become clear, while they may be well-worn this is for a good reason: they demand consideration every time a researcher steps into the field, and particularly one as potentially sensitive and difficult as this.

Item ID: 11612
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1467-9493
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Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2010 01:26
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society > 169999 Studies in Human Society not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9610 Natural Hazards > 961099 Natural Hazards not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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