Edited by Lynn Weber and Lori Peek
Hurricane Katrina forced the largest and most abrupt displacement in U.S. history. About 1.5 million people evacuated from the Gulf Coast preceding Katrina’s landfall. New Orleans, a city of 500,000, was nearly emptied of life after the hurricane and flooding. Katrina survivors eventually scattered across all fifty states, and tens of thousands still remain displaced. Some are desperate to return to the Gulf Coast but cannot find the means. Others have chosen to make their homes elsewhere. Still others found a way to return home but were unable to stay due to the limited availability of social services, educational opportunities, health care options, and affordable housing.
The contributors to Displaced have been following the lives of Katrina evacuees since 2005. In this illuminating book, they offer the first comprehensive analysis of the experiences of the displaced. Drawing on research in thirteen communities in seven states across the country, the contributors describe the struggles that evacuees have faced in securing life-sustaining resources and rebuilding their lives. They also recount the impact that the displaced have had on communities that initially welcomed them and then later experienced “Katrina fatigue” as the ongoing needs of evacuees strained local resources. Displaced reveals that Katrina took a particularly heavy toll on households headed by low-income African American women who lost the support provided by local networks of family and friends. It also shows the resilience and resourcefulness of Katrina evacuees who have built new networks and partnered with community organizations and religious institutions to create new lives in the diaspora.
Displaced was published by the University of Texas Press in the spring of 2012.
Source: Matthew Ericson, Archie Tse, and Jodi Wilgoren. 2005. “Katrina’s Diaspora.” The New York Times, October 2.
The Journal of African American History: "Utilizing qualitative research methods, including interviews with their subjects, the editors of Displaced make important contributions to the understanding of both the negative and positive effects of Hurricane Katrina. The book also addresses the issue of affordable housing for poor and working-class people in urban areas." Cick here to read the full review. -- Amadu Jacky Kaba, Seton Hall University
Contemporary Sociology: "This book resulted from a unique collaboration among scholars who were part of the ASA’s SSRC Research Network on Persons Displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Half of the book’s contributors were themselves displaced by Katrina and others were actively involved in Katrina recovery efforts. The result of their dedication to engaged community research is a strong, cohesive, feminist collection with a refreshing focus on women’s first-hand accounts, deft analysis of the importance of social context, and a careful and consistent exploration of the hierarchies of race, class, gender, age, and citizenship and the role they played in making this storm a social disaster." Click here to read the full review. -- Kirsten Dellinger, University of Mississippi
Social Anthropology: "All the case studies in this volume are ethnographically rich and well written, giving a comprehensive picture of the experience of displacement post-Katrina." Click here to read the full review. -- Susann Ullberg, Swedish Institute of International Affairs
Sociological Forum: "Of all the books discussed here, I thought Displaced: Life in the Katrina Diaspora was the best...The coherent organization was one of the many things I liked about this book." Click here to read the full review.-- Carl L. Bankston III, Sociological Forum