Essay on Gender and Rescue services in Crisis Management research

Essay on Gender and Rescue services in Crisis Management research

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Gender and Rescue services in Crisis Management research
Research on crisis often discusses decision making in crisis and have been developed by scholars in political science like Hermann (1963) Allison (1971) George (1980) and Vertzberg (1990). This research has often focused on crisis and decision making in international politics. In Sweden there are research concerning different aspects of crisis, as crisis communication, learning after crisis, relations between public and private. During the 1990’s research about crisis more broadly as a social and technological crisis have developed (´t Hart, Charles and Parker 1989, Rosenthal, Boin and Comfort 2001). In a Swedish context research on crisis management have been developed by Sundelius, Stern och Bynander (1997) och Stern och Sundelius (1997).

In the mainstream crisis management literature analyses on gender and gendered practices are not often addressed. Often, even dominating male structures in crisis management organizations, male leadership positions, and decision making groups are not discussed in relation to gendered practices. In other words how gender is constructed within crisis organizations is not problematized. There are one research field in the crisis management and emergency management literature that do address gender. That is in the international research field of gender and disaster studies. Within gender and disaster studies literature gender is seen as in interaction with for example race and ethnicity and often focus are on a whole societies and complex dimensions and dynamics of the population in who get affected by a disaster and a crisis. Often the main focus is on women and on women’s personal experiences of a crisis.

The research field of gen...


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...e they address the following themes: women’s vulnerability to disasters; the gendered effects on disaster and women’s capacities and resources on responding to disaster. The literature is focused on women. What is called gender is connected to women and women’s experiences and not in the same extent so much men’s experiences and practices. That men constitute and construct gendered practices are not discussed. Elaine Enarson and Betty Morrow ask some questions addressed to the emergency management: “What patterns of bias (gendered, economic, and cultural) can be identified in the practices of responding agencies in the private and public sectors? How are these maintained informally? Under what conditions are they most effectively challenged?” Other questions are how gender is identified by disaster planning and response agencies in the private and public sectors?

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