"Still at Nature's Mercy": Human-Environmental Relations after the Christchurch Earthquakes

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dc.contributor.advisor Trnka, S en
dc.contributor.advisor Molloy, M en
dc.contributor.author Kaekelae, Heidi en
dc.date.accessioned 2013-02-28T03:07:03Z en
dc.date.issued 2013 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/20084 en
dc.description Full text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.description.abstract This study explores human-environmental relations in the wake of the earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand. The city, formerly considered to be located in a largely seismically inactive area, has experienced two large earthquakes in September 2010 and February 2011. The activity resulting from these events has resulted in over ten thousand aftershocks over the course of two years. In the field of disaster anthropology, studies made of societies facing sudden-onset disasters, such as earthquakes, have generally been made in retrospect. In this sense Christchurch offers a unique opportunity to study humanenvironmental relations amidst continued seismic activity. To analyse the implications of a natural hazard on human-environmental relations and recovery from a violent upheaval, this study draws from the works of Veena Das (2007) and Tim Ingold (2000, 2011). The research for this study was carried out in Christchurch from September to November 2011, during which twenty-three semi-structural interviews, four cultural mapping exercises and participant-observation with a St. Albans-based community organization was conducted. The study shows the disaster resulted in an altered perception of time and space in Christchurch, which affected people’s relations with their surroundings on many levels from the immediate and physical to the social. These changes in perceptions and behaviour were characterized as part of a way of life marked by the disaster, called the “New Normal”. The conclusions arising from the study show that a prevalent attitude of earthquake resilience in the city guides the perception and communication of uncertainty in human-environmental relations. This further affects the way the residents envision processes of recovery, intimately linked with restoring a sense of agency within disaster. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/nz/ en
dc.title "Still at Nature's Mercy": Human-Environmental Relations after the Christchurch Earthquakes en
dc.type Thesis en
thesis.degree.grantor The University of Auckland en
thesis.degree.level Masters en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The Author en
pubs.elements-id 373753 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2013-02-28 en

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