Sociology of Technology; Disasters

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Natural Disasters & Technology
Hurricane Sandy affected us all in some sort of way. Whether it affected us in not being able to take our morning walk, or not being able to get to work. Whichever way that may have been, Sandy took us on for a rollercoaster ride for a couple of days. I remember waking up to emails, voicemails, and text messages from the Stony Brook Emergency Operations Center Emergency Alerts, stating that there was no school each and every day. With Sandy in place, we can connect different situations that happened to different subsets in the anthropological model that we discussed in class. We will be examining the following subsets: government, economics, concepts of time, concepts of space, and play.

The government subset consists of methods by which a culture creates order, decides power, and establishes authority. This subset connects to Hurricane Sandy because emergency response teams had to be quickly developed and they had to go attend sites that were severely damaged by the hurricane. Take the MTA for example. The hurricane brought so much water that New York City was not prepared for that it flooded our train stations and tracks that were located underground. The technology that failed was the transit systems and this failure led to many changes in how technology and society related to each other. One major change was that there were no means of mass transportation for the first two days of the Hurricane because all of the underground tunnels were flooded, and on top of that, power was out for several parts of the tri-state area. Technology and society related to each other by them having to have patience with each other. Society had to be patient with these emergency response teams from MTA along with Con Edison in order for the society to get what they want, which in this case was mass transportation, they had to rely on these teams to get the power on, unflood the tunnels, and make sure that everything was set before the...
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