Session Objectives • Define a “world view,” describe a variety of differing world views, and discuss how world view influences the understanding of disasters and human behavior in relation to hazards • Define “values,” describe the way that value commitments influence behavior in relation to hazards and disasters, and provide a summary of their own core personal values • Discuss how world views and values influence policy toward risk and risk management and also the politics of public reaction to disasters
What is a World View? • Ways that people give meaning to what happens around them • Are usually unconscious and passed along from parents to children • Concern ultimate questions like the meaning of life and death • Answer questions about how humans fit into nature and society • Can be organized within the teachings of a religion or philosophy, but don’t have to be
Competing World Views LOGOS Humans have some unique role or agency in the world and its happenings COSMOS Humans are insignificant parts of something much larger, within which human agency plays no part
World Views, Hazards, and Disasters • World view can influence how extreme events in nature are perceived • An earthquake or storm can be seen as an “Act of God” or natural event • Responses to natural hazards can vary: • Folk (pre-industrial) adjustments • Technological adjustments • Comprehensive (post-industrial) adjustments
What are Values? • Guidelines for behavior and decisions that are generally consistent with and derived from world views • May be explicit and conscious or simply internalized as the “right” answer questions such as: • What is the right thing to do? What must I do? • What is fair in a given situation? What is just? • What do I owe a stranger simply because that person is a human being in need? • How much should my individual opinion or need or desire county in society? • Exist and influence decisions/behavior at various levels: • Person • Family • Society • Humanity
Values and Disaster Management Values are expressed in disaster management whenever someone tries to answer one of the following questions • Should professional standards alone be enough to ensure that an engineer designs or a contract builds according to safety bodes, or is law and enforcement required? • What is “acceptable” risk in society? How should that level of risk be determined? • Are there some risks society can or should be more democratic about managing and others where that is impossible, difficult, or undesirable? • Is it fair that low income people sometimes live in more dangerous buildings than the affluent? • Should those with more resources keep helping again and again after disasters all over the world?
Role of Values in Disasters • Value Conflict • “Equality” vs “Efficiency” • Community’s Right to Know • Is There a Human Right to Protection from Disasters? • Differing world views answer this question differently
World Views, Values, and Politics • Politics and laws are based, explicitly or implicitly, on world views and values • Poor performance in disasters can cause governments to be replaced • Local politics are often heavily influenced by the way citizens, and organizations and informal groups, filter hazards and disaster occurrences through their world views and values