Hyperlocal Organizing: Collaborating for Recovery Over Time explores the difficult work of post-disaster recovery. Jack L. Harris, demonstrates that after disaster, broad interorganizational landscapes are needed to unite the grassroots, neighborhoods, communities, and institutions to solve problems of recovery and bring people home. Yet all too often, government disaster policy and institutions ignore the critical role of local knowledge and organizing. Exploring the organizational landscape of the mid-Atlantic United States after Hurricane Sandy, Harris reveals how participation and collaboration open multiple pathways to recovery after disaster by building resilience and democratizing governance. Using powerful theories of communicating and organizing, this book develops a new framework—hyperlocal organizing—to address the challenge of community survivability in the twenty-first century. Achieving community survivability requires robust organizational partnerships and interorganizational collaboration to solve collective problems. The lessons Harris presents are important not just for post-disaster recovery, but for addressing grand challenges such as climate change, environmental justice, and equitable community development. Scholars of environmental communication, disaster studies, and emergency management, will find this book of particular interest.
Jack L. Harris is visiting assistant professor of communication and summer internship director at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Perpetual Disaster Response and Recovery: the New Normal?
Chapter 1: Communicating and Organizing after Disaster
Chapter 2: How Public Policy Shapes the Organizational Landscape of Disaster Recovery
Chapter 3: Writing Community Back into Disaster Recovery: Hyperlocal Organizing and Interorganizational Relationships
Chapter 4: Using Stakeholder Theory to Build Theories of Hyperlocal Organizing
Chapter 5: Hyperlocal Organizing after Hurricane Sandy: The View from Coastal New Jersey and Staten Island New York
Chapter 6: Empowering Community through Hyperlocal Organizing: Implications for Social Resilience and Democratic Governance
About the Author
After a disaster strikes, what happens once the rescue helicopters and cameras go away? In Hyperlocal Organizing, Harris offers an answer that is part cautionary tale and part template for academics and communities. Using research on the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and drawing on examples from other disasters (e.g., September 11 and Hurricanes Katrina, Maria, and Harvey), Harris examines the overlooked details when “response morphs into recovery.” In his analysis, the picture that emerges is how the Federal Emergency Management Administration, the Red Cross, and other established organizations come like bureaucratic hurricanes into affected communities. Generally, “top tier” organizations—though with some exceptions—have historically overlooked spontaneous volunteers, grassroots recovery efforts, and local organizations. The heart and soul of this book is the notion that recovery from crisis and disaster takes place at the grassroots, neighborhood, and community levels. As the United States and other countries continue to experience frequent, intense weather disasters, this book should serve as a guide on how to better integrate the top-tier responders more effectively with grassroots organizations, and also how to prepare communities for the most common scenarios they will face after the cameras leave: isolation and abandonment. Recommended. All readership levels.
"Hyperlocal Organizing deftly walks readers through moment-by-moment analyses of material and human challenges in disaster recovery as neighbors, families, and volunteers first help and emergent groups form into local institutions. Rich examples and quotes from interviews and transcripts abound. Readers experience the boat flotillas that rescued workers stranded during 9-11, local restaurants and faith-based relief efforts that offered food and connection, and continuing struggles in New Orleans from Katrina and recurring storms. Details from the Hurricane Sandy long-term case study offer insights into communication management, social resilience, and democratic governance with transferrable applications to ever-emerging disruptions."
”Hyperlocal Organizing is a significant contribution to the literature on long-term recovery after disasters, especially from extreme natural events. The volume is conceptually rich, draws careful lessons from the response to Hurricane Sandy, and provides valuable guidance for community involvement in recovery from future events.”
“Hyperlocal Organizing is a rich tour of the emergent actors, institutional players, and policies that shapes disaster response in the United States. This is a must-read for anyone interested in building social impact networks that support resilient communities.”
“Jack Harris draws upon an interdisciplinary body of theory and his own extensive experience working with long-term recovery following Hurricane Sandy to develop the concept of hyperlocal organizing. In the process, he foregrounds and contributes to groundbreaking theories of organizational communication and interorganizational collaboration, and their connections with stakeholder theories and theories of democratic governance. With a theoretically compelling yet accessible voice, Jack Harris offers an inspiring example of how love of place motivates participation in long-term disaster research and recovery, and leadership for how to improve both.”
8/24/23, ChoiceReviews: This title was included in a roundup of “The Top 75 Community College Titles: August 2023 Edition”Link: https://www.choice360.org/choice-pick/the-top-75-community-college-titles-august-2023-edition/