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New Orleans And The Dialectics Of Post-Katrina Reconstruction

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Chapter Summary

For a majority of Americans, the events of September 11, 2001 represented the abrupt beginning of a whole new era marked by deepening military involvement, a heightened security state and a prolonged economic dislocation. For those living in the New Orleans area, a traumatic second wave came with the arrival of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. This chapter asserts that something very similar happened after Katrina attacked the Gulf Coast region. To fully capture this historical process, critical sociologists must not only grasp the social class character of "disasters" and their political utilization by the state, but also interpret the influence that emergent social movement activity may exert from time to time in challenging the profit-driven logic of capitalist expansion. The chapter presents some theoretical suggestions about how these issues can be placed under analysis in view of the contradictory dynamics that are unfolding in post-Katrina New Orleans.

Keywords: natural disasters; New Orleans; post-Katrina reconstruction



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