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The Endless Reconstruction and Modern Disasters

The Management of Urban Space Through an Earthquake – Messina, 1908–2018

Authors: Farinella, Domenica, Saitta, Pietro

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  • Synthesizes the social, urban, and economic impacts of disaster
  • Provides insights into the everyday life and the survival strategies of a population shaped by disaster over many decades
  • Features excerpts from 85 in-depth interviews with members of informal settlements and housing projects
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eBook $44.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-19361-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $84.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-19360-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This is a study on the long-lasting consequences of a disastrous earthquake that hit the city of Messina, Sicily, in 1908. The quake killed about 86,000 people, and destroyed one of the most important portal cities of the Mediterranean. The book investigates both the forces that shaped that event and made it possible – firstly, urban speculation processes at the end of the nineteenth century – and the role of that occurrence in creating a complex event that, on the one hand, accelerated trends and tendencies that were already in motion; and, on the other, produced an entirely new social space based on social separation and the raise of a widespread marginal class. Such a class developed within urban borders and spaces that, over the decades, grew according to the same logic and directions that followed the reconstruction. Especially the shacks, still a visible presence in the city, represent the lieu of reproduction both of a class and the whole of the social relations stemming from the disaster.
It shows how key-concepts in contemporary scientific analysis, such as “shock economy” and “economy of disaster,” can be aptly backdated. Above all, this study broadens the normal analyses of disasters by showing the stratification of institutional techniques and economic forces that, over the decades, intervened and (re-)shaped the site of a disaster and its social structure.

About the authors

​Domenica Farinella, PhD, is a Lecturer in Economic Sociology at the University of Messina, Italy. She holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Naples Federico II (2004) and has worked at the Universities of Naples and Cagliari as a researcher, and at ISPO-Tuscany Region as a fellow researcher.

Pietro Saitta, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Messina, Italy. He holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Urbino (2004) and has worked in many national and international university and research institutions, including the Cuny-Graduate Center, Columbia University, Oñati International Institute for the Sociology of Law, and WHO.

Reviews

“Deftly interweaving theoretical, historical, spatial and social analysis, the authors illustrate powerfully (with global relevance) the irony of capitalist modernity embodied in the century-long national post-disaster reconstruction project in Messina: the creation through bureaucratic territorial “development” of the conditions of precarity and dependency for which those inhabiting and reworking for generations that “temporary” politically and physically constructed landscape are blamed.” (Ann Kingsolver, Professor of Anthropology, University of Kentucky, USA)

“Disasters last a long time. The interminable reconstruction of Messina was precursory of  the spatial and social configurations of inequality that still characterize the city. In 1908, Messina prefigured contemporary disaster relief. For its acute analysis, its compassionate ethnography, its theoretical skill in weaving space with social class and state with financial capitalism, Farinella and Saitta's book is essential reading.” (Magali Sarfatti Larson, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Temple University, USA)

“Domenica Farinella and Pietro Saitta have written a powerful analysis of the 1908 Messina earthquake that reveals its long-lasting impact on the destinies of the city and its people. They show how the earthquake remade Messina, as the fitful rebuilding both ensured the development of an impoverished working class and a bourgeoisie devoted to a rentier economy. Astonishingly clear, acutely written – an important contribution.” (Michael Blim, Professor of Anthropology, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, USA)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $44.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-19361-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $84.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-19360-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Endless Reconstruction and Modern Disasters
Book Subtitle
The Management of Urban Space Through an Earthquake – Messina, 1908–2018
Authors
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-19361-4
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-19361-4
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-19360-7
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIII, 290
Number of Illustrations
10 b/w illustrations, 12 illustrations in colour
Topics