Bringing People Back In: Crisis Planning and Response Embedded in Social Contexts

Kendra Thompson-Dyck, Brian Mayer, Kathryn Freeman Anderson, Joseph Galaskiewicz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


Urban resilience requires sophisticated technical expertise to anticipate problems and develop transformative solutions, yet these efforts alone are often insufficient. We argue that resilience work needs to acknowledge the social contexts in which these plans are situated to better identify potential pitfalls and negotiate challenges “on the ground.” Drawing on Zukin and DiMaggio’s (Structures of capital: the social organization of the economy. Cambridge University, Cambridge, pp 1–36, 1990) embeddedness framework, we explain how cognitive, cultural, structural, and political contexts can complicate resilience work. First, we describe the framework and draw on extant literature to show how the four dimensions relate to urban resilience. Then, we use case studies from two environmental disasters to illustrate how emergency response efforts fell short because they did not adequately account for social context. Our aim is to orient urban resilience experts and practitioners to embeddedness thinking and offer suggestions for ways to better negotiate obstacles to success and opportunities for improvement inherent in the social environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvanced Sciences and Technologies for Security Applications
Number of pages15
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NameAdvanced Sciences and Technologies for Security Applications
ISSN (Print)1613-5113
ISSN (Electronic)2363-9466


  • Collective Efficacy
  • Disaster Planning
  • Planning Team
  • Relational Embeddedness
  • Relief Worker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Safety Research
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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