9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN08 Disaster and Social Crisis

2009-09-05 11:00:00 2009-09-05 12:30:00 Saturday, 5 September 11:00 - 12:30 Politics and Practices of Remembering Disasters Building AA, AA.226

When public policies demand local populations remember previous flooding: an interdisciplinary research

This communication aims to present the results of an interdisciplinary research entitled "remembering, forgetting and re-appropriating: Flooding management". Breaking from their protectionist heritage, the new French public policies encourages the citizens to remember previous disasters, hoping they will learn to live with flooding and this will re-establish a "lost culture of risk". However, such a call is not heard as clearly by the citizens as the public policies expected. Our research team analyses this difficult reception of these new public policies based on a voluntary remembering process. The interdisciplinary composition of the team appears particularly appropriate to highlight the different components of the remembering/forgetting processes. The sociologist analyses the discourses and practices of inhabitants of "flooding areas" about the past disasters and the new public policies. The historian provides an objective analysis of the past floods and their treatment by the media. And the geographers propose two levels of spatial analyses, the first one focusing on the flooding itself, and the second one considering domino effects (with the case study of the electricity network, as a material indicator of remembering/forgetting effects). The information is composed of qualitative and quantitative databases, original by their interdisciplinary dimension. Thus, the sociological interviews and questionnaires also include questions raised by the historian and the geographers on one hand, and on the other hand, maps made by geographers enclose information collected by the others disciplines.