Natural disasters and national identity: time, space and mythology

  title={Natural disasters and national identity: time, space and mythology},
  author={B. West and Philip Smith},
  journal={Journal of Sociology},
  pages={205 - 215}
This research note builds upon our recent publication in this journal entitled 'Drought, Discourse and Durkheim' (West and Smith 1996). Drawing upon Robert Merton's methodological recommendation that functionalist research should explore possible functional alternatives, we examine discourses surrounding Australian natural disasters other than drought: floods, earthquakes, cyclones and bushfires. The paper identifies three variables that constrain the risk and ritual orientations of natural… Expand

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