3.11 and the STS-anthropology of disaster



While the earth sciences have been a major topic for STS in Japan, few STS scholars have focused on natural disasters. Social studies of disaster (environmental sociology, the sociology and social psychology of natural disaster, the anthropology of natural disaster) developed independently. The triple disasters of March 11, 2011, encouraged “newcomers” to join and gave rise to “crosstalk” among scholars from different backgrounds. For example: 1)  Virtual forum: How Can We Bring Closure to Crisis?, and a conference Japan's Earthquake and Tsunami One Year Later, hosted by Meridian 180 at Cornell University in 2012, 2) AAA 2013 Roundtable: Narrating the Nuclear, and 3) After 3.11: New Architecture+Engineering and Reframing 3.11: Cinema, Literature, and Media after Fukushima at UC Berkeley in 2014. New projects, approaches, and books emerged from these discussions (see e.g., Too See Once More the Stars, Lessons from Fukushima, and Nuclear Disaster at Fukushima Daiichi).

From the STS point of view, important topics are: the problems of the Public Understanding of Science (PUS) (Ryuma Shineha); the sociology of accidents—which explores the organizational causes of the nuclear accident (Miwao Matsumoto); civic engagements with, for example, the measurement of radiation (Kohei Inose and Yasumasa Igarashi); infrastructure (lifelines, transportation, etc. Shuhei Kimura and Atsuro Morita, see here); and commitments to survivors (health risk, networking of refugees, etc.)


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Contributed date

July 14, 2018 - 11:37pm

Critical Commentary

In this text, Shuhei Kimura introduces the interactions between STS, anthropology, and other related fields after 3.11.





Cite as

Shuhei Kimura, "3.11 and the STS-anthropology of disaster ", contributed by Yoko Taguchi, STS Infrastructures, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 18 August 2018, accessed 23 March 2023. https://stsinfrastructures.org/content/311-and-sts-anthropology-disaster