PhD Dissertation Defense:
Saina Sheini Mehrab Zadeh
Title: Disaster Resilience through the Lens of Administrative and Social Media Data: Preparedness, Response, and Recovery
With the growing consequences of climate change, the frequency and magnitude of natural events are rapidly increasing. In addition, in the twenty-first century, pandemics have become increasingly common and complicated all across the world. Consequently, social resilience has become more and more important in response to the social ramifications of these events. The threat of these disasters to communities has existed since the beginning of society and has become more significant and serious in recent decades. The reactions of community members to disasters, including specific behavioral patterns, vary depending on many factors, including the type of the events. These differences can be observed from the form and intensity of interactions between the community members to the speed and quality of recovery and the bounce-back process, also referred to as social resilience. Social resilience is “the ability of social entities to endure, absorb, manage, and adjust to various kinds of threats.”
Natural events can be among the most destructive and life-threatening challenges that may happen to a community. The effect of these disasters on communities may be different. Although not generated for the purpose of research, administrative data sources provide a great opportunity to study the effects of these events as well as the community responses to them. In addition, the use of social media is widespread, specifically during community-wide emergencies such as a pandemic, or a hurricane. Therefore, looking at the communities’ preparedness, reactions to these events, and the recovery process through the lens of social media has been made possible for researchers.
Committee Members: Dan O’Brien, Jennie C. Stephens, and Daniel Aldrich