Accepted paper:

Post-disaster reconstruction after Haitang and Morakot: a case study of the indigenous community in Southeast Taiwan

Authors:

Wen-Ling Chen (Cheng-Chi University)

Paper short abstract:

Aiming to rethink how anthropologists can contribute their expertise in the studies of disaster, this paper discusses the cultural conflicts and adaptations during the reconstruction process after the disaster during to the typhoons.

Paper long abstract:

The history of disaster anthropology began in mid-20th century. Instead of seeing disaster as an unpredictable accident, disaster anthropology developed a new concept after 1980s that deems disaster as a fundamental element of natural environment, and at the same time a structural feature of human system. In this way, disaster is related to politics, economy, and power. Disaster is therefore part of human society and culture. Typhoon Haitang in 2005 and Typhoon Morakot in 2009 have caused serious natural disasters for villages in the watershed of Taimali River which is in the Southeast of Taiwan. Local government and a part of local residents have to face the big issues of temporary relocation and resettlement again and again. However, in the reconstruction process, the charities flooded into the village and the inappropriate government policy impacted more than the natural phenomena. For many years, residents have adapted to local natural environment and culture, and created new social structure and ethnic relationships and syncretic religious beliefs which are different from those in their original villages. In this social context of multi-ethnic structure, what are the factors which influence local indigenous peoples of different villages in dealing with the issue of resettlement? Aiming to rethink how anthropologists can contribute their expertise in the studies of disaster, this paper discusses the cultural conflicts and adaptations during the reconstruction process from the perspective of anthropology.

panel P122
Action-oriented ethnological/anthropological studies and the development of contemporary Taiwan indigenous society (TSAE panel)