Disaster citizenship: Survivors, solidarity, and power in the progressive era

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract

A century ago, governments buoyed by Progressive Era-beliefs began to assume greater responsibility for protecting and rescuing citizens. Yet the aftermath of two disasters in the United States-Canada borderlands--the Salem Fire of 1914 and the Halifax Explosion of 1917--saw working class survivors instead turn to friends, neighbors, coworkers, and family members for succor and aid. In Disaster Citizenship, Jacob A. C. Remes draws on histories of the Salem and Halifax events to explore the institutions--both formal and informal--that ordinary people relied upon in times of crisis. He explores patterns and traditions of self-help, informal order, and solidarity and details how people adapted these traditions when necessary. Yet, as he shows, these methods--though often quick and effective--remained illegible to reformers. Indeed, soldiers, social workers, and reformers wielding extraordinary emergency powers challenged these grassroots practices to impose progressive "solutions" on what they wrongly imagined to be a fractured social landscape.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherUniversity of Illinois Press
Number of pages292
ISBN (Electronic)9780252097942
ISBN (Print)9780252039836
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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