The Physical Environment and Change Sociology Help

The Physical Environment and Change

Changes in the physical environment often produce changes in the lives of people; in turn, people can make dramatic changes in the physical environment. over which we have only limited control. Throughout history, natural disasters have taken their toll on individuals and societies, Major natural discriminated  hurricanes, floods, and tornado s-can devastatean entire population. In September 2005, the United
States experienced the worst natural disaster in this nation's history when Hurricane Katrina left a wide path of death and destruction through Louisiana, Mississippi. and Alabama. However, damage from the hurricane itself was Just the beginning of how the physical environment abruptly changed, how this disaster altered the  of millions of people, and how it raised serious questions about our national priorities and the future of the environment. Even people who
did not lose family members or suffer extensive property loss in this disaster may have experienced trauma that will remain with them in the future, According to the sociologist Kai Erikson (1976, 1994), disaster related trauma  outweigh the actual loss of physical property because memories of such events can haunt people for many years, Some natural disasters are exacerbated by human decisions. For example, floods are viewed as natural .

disasters, but excessive development can contribute to a Hood's severity. As office buildings. shopping malls, industrial plants. residential areas, and highways are developed, less land remains as ground cover to absorb rainfall. When heavier-than-usual rains occur. flooding becomes inevitable; some regions of the United States-such as in and around New Orleans-have Mainlined underwater for days or even weeks in recent years. Clearly, humans cannot control the rain, but human decisions can worsen the consequences,  destruction of large sections of New Orleans y Hurricane Katrina and the flooding that followed is an example of how human decisions may worsen  the consequences of a natural disaster. If Hurricane Katrinas first wave was the storm itself, the second wave was a mall-made disaster resulting in part from human decisions relating to planning and budgetary priorities, allocation of funds for maintaining infrastructure, and the importance of emergency preparedness. For many years it was widely known that New Orleans had a great risk of taking a direct hit from a major hurricane and that, in a worst-case scenario, the city might be flooded and badly damaged, with portions of the city rendered uninhabitable. However, despite the city's unique topography (some sections are located below sea level) and its vulnerability to harsh storms, these concerns simply were "not a top priority in urban planning or resource allocation. Failure of components of the infrastructure also contributed to the city's problems when water pumps and several levees on Lake Pontchartrain failed, allowing millions of gallons of polluted water to pour out onto the city's already-flooded streets, thereby forcing residents to leave their homes. Infrastructure refers to a framework of support systems, such as transportation and utilities, that makes it possible to have specific land uses (commercial, residential, and recreational, for example) and a built environment (buildings, houses. highways, and  in order to aid people's daily activities and the nation's economy. It takes money and commitment to make sure that the components of the infrastructure  remain strong so that cities can withstand natural disasters  nd other catastrophes.Hurricane Katrina was a massive lesson in sociology, bringing to the public's attention so many of the issues discussed in this text. By way of example, many of the people most affected by Hurricane Katrina were low-income African Americans whose residences were located in the low-lying areas of the city; the residences of many of the wealthier white residents of the city were located on higher ground and were spared the brunt of the flooding. Apparently, no adequate disaster evacuation plans had been developed for individuals without vehicles 'or sufficient money to leave on their own. In New Orleans, 28 percent of all African Americans .

Hurricane Katrine was a massive lesson in sociology, bringing to the public's attention so many of the issues discussed in this text. By way of example, many
of the people most affected by Hurricane Katrina were low-income African Americans whose residences were located in the low-lying areas of the city; the residences of many of the wealthier white residents of the city were located on higher ground and were spared the brunt of the flooding. Apparently, no adequate disaster evacuation plans had been developed for individuals  without vehicles 'or sufficient money to leave on their own. In New Orleans, 28 percent of all African Americans.

Posted on September 8, 2014 in COLLECTIVE BEHAVIOR AND SOCIAL MOVEMENT

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