Harney Lecture Series in Ethnicity

Sponsored by the R.F. Harney Program in Ethnic, Immigration and Pluralism Studies and the Munk School of Global Affairs, the Harney Lecture Series brings prominent scholars and practitioners from around the world to enhance the research community at the University of Toronto.

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2016-2017 Harney Lecture Series


Thursday September 29, 2016  2:00-4:00PM, Room 108N Munk School of Global Affairs Trinity Site (1 devonshire Place)


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Mark VanLandingham
“Culture and its Confounders: The Roots of Post-Disaster Resilience within an Immigrant Enclave”

The recovery of the Vietnamese American community in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina was much more robust than was the recovery of other communities that were similarly-affected. In my lecture I’ll explore several explanations for why that was, focusing on a potential role for culture. I’ll explain why many disaster researchers and other social scientists avoid explanations that invoke culture; discuss how culture is often conflated with other features of social structure that are more akin to privilege; review some recent developments in the study of culture; and apply some of this recent work towards an understanding of why the Vietnamese fared so well.

Mark VanLandingham, Ph.D., is a sociologist and demographer who focuses on a wide array of topics related to social science and public health. He currently leads projects focusing on the antecedents and consequences of largescale rural-to-urban migration within Southeast Asia; and acculturation, health, and well-being among Vietnamese immigrants in the United States. He co-leads a team of researchers from Tulane, Harvard, NYU, Brown, and Michigan investigating Health and Demographic Disparities in long term Recovery from Hurricane Katrina (HDDR-HD), funded by a new Program Award (P01) from NIH. He teaches Population Studies, Field Methods in Disaster Research, and Health Problems of Developing Societies.

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