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Les représentations collectives de l’événement-catastrophe : étude sociologique sur les peurs contemporaines

Abstract : When disasters and catastrophes are prominent features of social and collective life, our aesthetic and cognitive vision or conception of the world is challenged or even overwhelmed. The contemporary world is experiencing a crisis that has shaken our certainties about nature and society’s control. This crisis is paradoxical, because it is rooted in our immense powers of transformation; the very same powers that sustain our hopes of progress. The unexpected consequences of these powers now feed our collective anxieties and fears. This research takes a sociological perspective to assess the influence of the social imaginary on the production of disaster events, and, in turn, the impact of the production of disaster events on the opinions, attitudes and risk-prevention behaviors and social representations of security. Based on a corpus of ten catastrophes (the December 1999 storm in Western Europe to the Fukushima disaster in 2011), and supported by field work (press, literature, cinema, video games and also disaster preparedness groups), this work reveals the effectiveness of the Durandian archetype and reveals reactivation of ancient myths and the emergence of new tales in the social complex, while introducing a new idea in the Occident: our age is fascinated by its power, but also terrified of a future in which it can see only promises of decline.
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Bertrand Vidal. Les représentations collectives de l’événement-catastrophe : étude sociologique sur les peurs contemporaines. Sociologie. Université Paul Valéry - Montpellier III, 2012. Français. ⟨NNT : 2012MON30065⟩. ⟨tel-00825491⟩

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