In this article the author offers a synthesis of the anthropological con- sultation he gave as a member of the Major Risks Commission trial in which he explaines how the experts’ reassuring diagnosis of the seismic se- quence, which was ongoing for months in the city of L’Aquila, led to the amplification of the mortality rate of the subsequent destructive earthqua- ke.The experts’ evaluation of its non-hazardous nature resulted in a highly persuasive social representation that prevailed in the local culture, delegiti- mizing the knowledge that, in the centuries-long seismic history of the city, had long been carried in the folk tradition which included the pre- cautionary home exit in the event of severe shocks.Thus, some people we- re killed due to a combination of three factors: 1) the onset of a destructive earthquake; 2) the collapse of houses; 3) certain people, once they had in- ternalized the pseudoscientific reassurance of the so-called “energy drain”, did not evacuate their homes after two closely-timed strong shocks, both of which preceded the fatal one. Adopting a cultural anthropological per- spective has been decisive for explaining the way in which the decrease in the perception of risk increased one’s exposure to danger.

Il terremoto dell’Aquila e il processo alla Commissione Grandi Rischi: note antropologiche

CICCOZZI, ANTONELLO
2014-01-01

Abstract

In this article the author offers a synthesis of the anthropological con- sultation he gave as a member of the Major Risks Commission trial in which he explaines how the experts’ reassuring diagnosis of the seismic se- quence, which was ongoing for months in the city of L’Aquila, led to the amplification of the mortality rate of the subsequent destructive earthqua- ke.The experts’ evaluation of its non-hazardous nature resulted in a highly persuasive social representation that prevailed in the local culture, delegiti- mizing the knowledge that, in the centuries-long seismic history of the city, had long been carried in the folk tradition which included the pre- cautionary home exit in the event of severe shocks.Thus, some people we- re killed due to a combination of three factors: 1) the onset of a destructive earthquake; 2) the collapse of houses; 3) certain people, once they had in- ternalized the pseudoscientific reassurance of the so-called “energy drain”, did not evacuate their homes after two closely-timed strong shocks, both of which preceded the fatal one. Adopting a cultural anthropological per- spective has been decisive for explaining the way in which the decrease in the perception of risk increased one’s exposure to danger.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/26732
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