Challenging the masculinist framing of disaster research
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Adams-Hutcheson, G. (2018). Challenging the masculinist framing of disaster research. Gender, Place & Culture, 25(1), 149–153. https://doi.org/10.1080/0966369X.2017.1407297
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/12185
As a touchstone for feminist research, the personal is political sits at the heart of my PhD thesis. The research project began in October 2011, as communities in and around Christchurch (Canterbury) were coping with the impact of both a 7.1 magnitude earthquake 4 September 2010 and a more devastating (to life and architecture) 6.3 magnitude earthquake on 22 February 2011, including thousands of aftershocks (see Wilson 2013). Although I had initially planned to go to Christchurch to research how such a devastating event affected individual households, my feminist politics told me that I should not go. I was not comfortable flying into Christchurch ‘from the outside’ with no direct personal connection to the city nor the disaster. Thus I shifted the focus of the research away from communities in Canterbury toward households relocated to an area where I live, the Waikato region of the North island of Aotearoa New Zealand. Scholars are slowly beginning to acknowledge the powerful politics of (not) seeing disasters as an opportune research possibility (Brun 2009; Gaillard and Gomez 2015; Lund 2012), and I consider this a core strength of a feminist project.
This is an author’s accepted version of an article published in the journal: Gender, Place & Culture. © 2018 Taylor and Francis.