Beyond victims, criminals and survivors: Performing political agency after the world’s strongest storm

Nicole Curato, Dakila Kim Yee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Victims, criminals, and survivors – these are dominant ways in which the media portrays communities affected by disasters. These portrayals are not benign. They present a deficient form of citizenship that reduces communities to disempowered subjects whose agency can only be realised with humanitarian responses or disciplinary action by the state. In this article, we make a case for portraying disaster-affected communities as political agents who assert their status as co-equal citizens bearing ideas and grievances, capable of justifying their views, and have a stake in shaping the course of post-disaster response. We argue that this portrayal is not only normatively desirable but politically possible. We draw on the case of People Surge – a grassroots alliance formed in the Philippines in 2013 in the aftermath of the world’s strongest storm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Sociology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021

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