Recent perspectives in anthropological research define a disaster as a process/event involving the combination of a potentially destructive agent(s) from the natural and/or technological environment and a population in a socially and technologically produced condition of vulnerability. From this basic understanding three general topical areas have developed: () a behavioral and organizational response approach, () a social change approach, and () a political economic/environmental approach, focusing on the historical-structural dimensions of vulnerability to hazards, particularly in the developing world. Applied anthropological contributions to disaster management are discussed as well as research on perception and assessment of hazard risk. The article closes with a discussion of potentials in hazard and disaster research for theory building in anthropology, particularly in issues of human-environment relations and sociocultural change.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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