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Constructions of Resilience: Ethnoracial Diversity, Inequality, and Post-Katrina Recovery, the Case of New Orleans


  • Kevin Fox Gotham

    () (Department of Sociology, Tulane University, 220 Newcomb Hall, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA)

  • Richard Campanella

    () (School of Architecture, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA)


In this paper, we draw on multi-level census data, in-depth interviews, ethnographic and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) methods to examine the effects of median household income, ethnoracial diversity, and flood damage on rates of post-Katrina repopulation in New Orleans. Our main finding is that New Orleans neighborhoods have been experiencing modest increases in ethnoracial diversity as well as a retrenchment of socio-spatial inequalities, as measured by low diversity scores, low median household income levels, and high poverty rates. In addition to documenting the objective indicators of “recovery”, we draw attention to the socially constructed nature of resilience. Based on interviews and ethnographic field observations, we investigate how resident constructions of resilience shape their views of the post-Katrina recovery process, provide a compelling and reassuring story of community revitalization, and convey a sense of collective power and control despite continued vulnerability to hazards and disasters.

Suggested Citation

  • Kevin Fox Gotham & Richard Campanella, 2013. "Constructions of Resilience: Ethnoracial Diversity, Inequality, and Post-Katrina Recovery, the Case of New Orleans," Social Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(4), pages 1-20, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jscscx:v:2:y:2013:i:4:p:298-317:d:31001

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    Cited by:

    1. Nilanchal PATEL & Anupama RAWAT, 2015. "Comparative Assessment Between Area Based And Patch Based Gibbs-Martin Diversification Index For Land Use Pattern Analysis," Theoretical and Empirical Researches in Urban Management, Research Centre in Public Administration and Public Services, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 10(4), pages 66-76, November.

    More about this item


    resilience; disaster; ethnoracial diversity; Hurricane Katrina;

    JEL classification:

    • A - General Economics and Teaching
    • B - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology
    • N - Economic History
    • P - Economic Systems
    • Y80 - Miscellaneous Categories - - Related Disciplines - - - Related Disciplines
    • Z00 - Other Special Topics - - General - - - General


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