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Title: Constricted choices within a travelling disaster: The journey of recovery for Anguilla's education system following Hurricane Irma
Authors: Robertson, Beth
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This thesis explores the recovery of primary and secondary education within Anguilla after Hurricane Irma, 2017. I collaborated with Anguilla's Department of Education to carry out an extensive qualitative research project two years after the devastation occurred. As a Caribbean and British Overseas Territory, I explore the complexity of how ideas about disaster recovery move and become understood as islanders navigate broader constricting development agendas within their state education system. I develop an innovative ‘travelling methodological approach' to use creative qualitative research techniques to trace the problem and multiple ‘connectivities’ between the diverse education stakeholders within the disaster recovery network. The research consulted with over 162 participants through semi-structured interview and focus group techniques. The research also uses an 'accidental ethnographic approach' that moves beyond a more structured approach to doing data collection and adopts a more 'explicit consciousness' (Buroway, 1998:6 in Fuji, 2015:536) to the unforeseen moments that occur within the research process (Fuji, 2015: 536). In doing so, the research responds to the unpredictable moments and disruptive context that the research journey encounters. The overall argument of this thesis is that disasters within smaller island contexts are best understood as travelling, translated, and entangled: they are produced through multiple, interconnected physical and temporal contexts and various, interconnected ideas and strategies for recovery. These processes create and constrict choice and inequalities for islanders but, importantly, also evidence the agency and creativity of islanders in re-orientating and re-translating the meaning and impacts of a disaster in education. Accordingly, I provide evidence that suggests recovery needs to work more holistically across this range of geographies. The travelling disaster intercepts and moves beyond event-specific approaches, linear delineations of recovery, and reductive and dangerous stereotypes of islander and island.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

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