The methods of disaster research are indistinguishable from those used throughout the social sciences. Yet these methods must be applied under unique circumstances. Researchers new to this field need to understand how the disaster context affects the application of the methods of research. This volume, written by some of the world’s leading specialists in disaster research, provides for the first time a primer on disaster research methods. Among the topics covered are qualitative field studies and survey research; underutilized approaches such as cross-national studies, simulations, and historical methods; and newer tools utilizing geographic information systems, the Internet, and economic modeling.
Robert A. Stallings (Ph.D., Sociology, The Ohio State University, 1971) is Professor of Public Policy and Sociology at the University of Southern California. From 1967 to 1971 he was a research assistant at the Disaster Research Center. He served as editor of the International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters (1997-2002) and is president of the International Sociological Association’s Research Committee on Disasters (RC 39). He is the author of Promoting Risk: Constructing the Earthquake Threat (Aldine de Gruyter, 1995). His most recent article, “Weberian Political Sociology and Sociological Disaster Studies,” appears in the June 2002 issue of Sociological Forum.