Temporality of disasters: the politics of women's livelihoods 'after' the tsunami in Sri Lanka

Ruwanpura, Kanchana N. (2008) Temporality of disasters: the politics of women's livelihoods 'after' the tsunami in Sri Lanka. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 29, (3), 325-340. (doi:10.1111/j.1467-9493.2008.00327.x).


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The devastation caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami in Sri Lanka is represented as a ‘natural disaster’. Yet, the tsunami did not occur in a sociopolitical and historical vacuum. How people responded to the tsunami, the challenges of and attitudes to relocation and post-tsunami livelihoods, were/are shaped by uneven development, social exclusion and ethnonationalist war. All these responses are embedded in structures of gender, caste, class, and ethnicity. The tsunami, thus, brought to the forefront preexisting inequalities, showing up complexities in the temporality of disasters. Drawn from fieldwork in two coastal areas in the Southern and Eastern provinces, this paper shows how gendered structures within the local political economy influenced the ways that institutional actors as well as the displaced communities and women initially devised livelihood strategies. These reactions show how place matters as much as preexisting gendered political economy conditions and reveal the complex ways in which women continue to mediate and negotiate everyday responses in the aftermath of a ‘natural’ disaster.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1111/j.1467-9493.2008.00327.x
ISSNs: 0129-7619 (print)
Keywords: ethnic dynamics, conflict, livelihoods, tsunami, women, sri lanka
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Geography > Economy, Culture, Space
ePrint ID: 55378
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
July 2008Published
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2008
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:35
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/55378

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