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A New Species Of Trouble: The Human Experience Of Modern Disasters

In the twentieth century, disasters caused by human beings have become more and more common. Unlike earthquakes and other natural catastrophes, this "new species of trouble" afflicts persons and groups in particularly disruptive ways. With clear-eyed compassion, in vivid narrative and in participants' own words, Kai Erikson describes how certain communities have faced such disasters. He shows conclusively that new attention must be paid to their experiences if people are to maintain elementary confidence not only in themselves but in society, government, and even life itself.

Paperback: 264 pages

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (July 17, 1995)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0393313190

ISBN-13: 978-0393313192

Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches

Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #1,096,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #302 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Civil & Environmental > Environmental > Pollution #1025 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Disaster Relief #1702 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Specific Topics > Law Enforcement

In A New Species of Trouble, Kai Erikson presents several short stories about environmental and social concerns that have arisen from anthropocentric causes. For instance, The Haitians of Immokalee details the effects on immigrants and families of an incident in Immokalee, Florida in which three hundred and four people lost the majority of their savings at a local depository. Residents had trusted the depository to keep their funds safe, and were emotionally distraught after not being able to collect the funds that they had worked long and difficult hours to earn. Immigrants could not provide for themselves or their families, especially family members abroad that they had been sending money to. Sick loved ones at home could not get the financial help they needed to be treated, and children did not receive the necessary funding to attend school, which provided a viable means to advance in the world. Depression and lack of direction afflicting many of the victims, and many lost their sense of trust. Moreover, Being Homeless discusses homelessness in America, and the constant shift many in America make in and out of homeless conditions depending on a myriad factors such as a lack of an accepting family, to not possessing adequate resources to combat illness, bankruptcy, bills, and other pressures. The story also details the effect homelessness can have on people, contributing to a feeling of disconnectedness from society, and attracting disdainful attitudes and perceptions from the public. However, Erikson then attributes homelessness to the allocation of resources, proclaiming, "The resources of this land are so apportioned that hundreds of thousands of persons are without housing any given day...

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