October 26, 2018 12:00 PMUptown Campus
Date, Time, Place: Friday, October 26, 12:00-1:30PM, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, Room B12 (basement)
Presenter: Professor Stephen Ostertag, Tulane University, Department of Sociology
Title: Collective Trauma, Coping, and the Cultural Work of Blog Use in Long-term Disaster Recovery
Abstract: Sociologists, communication scholars, and disaster researchers know quite a bit about how people use personal communication technologies and social networking media in the immediate context of disaster, but considerably less in the months and years that follow, when the immediate emergency period has passed and people seek to return to their lives. This period of recovery and rebuilding introduces new and different problems, and may provide an opportunity for theoretical development. Using a case study of New Orleans blog users over an 8-year period, I examine how people’s personal traumas shifted to collective traumas, and how they used blogs to address these shifts. I argue that this context of "settling" after a disaster provides insight into how culture "works" as both a dynamic resource, and a causal, motivational force that manifests in various ways over time.