Dr. Bill Lovekamp, Department of Sociology & Anthropology

Uploaded by catsEIU on 19.05.2011

[no dialogue].
My name is Bill Lovekamp, from the Department of
Sociology and Anthropology.
My research primarily focuses on the sociological
study of disasters.
Sociological disaster researchers often examine
how social factors like race/ethnicity, gender, and
social class influence people's ability to prepare for,
respond to, and recover from disasters.
For example, many poor people in Hurricane Katrina impacted areas
often did not have enough money to make sure their homes
could withstand hurricane-strength winds.
They did not have the money or vehicles to evacuate,
and they now have no money to relocate or rebuild their homes
that have been destroyed.
I have three primary research projects that
I have been working on.
The first project is a continuation of work with
collegues that examines urban women's experiences
during and after floods in Bangladesh.
This examines women's work shifts among garment, domestic,
sex work, and housewives in the context of global trade changes.
After the 2004 floods, many women had to change their jobs.
The garment sector has proven to be very important as a
safety net and provided temporary work for women
who could not fulfill their normal obligations.
They also experienced sheltering problems,
difficulty getting to work, to market, to relief supply lines,
and doing housework.
Many of these women also never received
any kind of disaster assistance.
A second project examines college students' perceptions
of risk, preparedness for and experience with disasters,
namely tornados and earthquakes.
In this research, which was recently published with an
undergraduate co-author, we found students have limited
direct experience with disasters, are moderately
concerned about disasters like tornados, and
do very little to prepare.
This led to a second phase of the research with another
undergraduate student where we completed focus group interviews
with students asking about their risk, preparedness for, and
experience with disasters.
To add to the earlier research, we found that female students
were much more fearful of disasters, while males made
a point to talk about how they were not afraid.
Also, since this research started immediately after the
tornado that struck Union University in February of 2008,
we showed the students video footage of the devastation and
asked for their reactions.
Many changed their views and in the end, they were
brainstorming how they could be more prepared and
spread the word across campus.
The third project I am working on examines the history of the
field of disaster research by analyzing all dissertations
completed on a disaster topic in the social and
behavioral sciences since the first dissertation
was completed in 1920.
I am examining the impact that disasters have on the number
and type of dissertations produced, the impact major
disaster research centers and universities have on shaping
past and future dissertations, which academic disciplines
have most commonly produced doctoral dissertations, and
key social issues that have been examined, such as
race/ethnicity, gender, and social class.
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