What Disaster Response Management Can Learn From Chaos Theory

Conference Proceedings
May 18-19, 1995

Edited by
Gus A. Koehler, PhD.

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DISASTER RESPONDER'S PERCEPTION OF TIME

Victoria Koehler -Jones, Sociologist

University of Nevada, Las Vegas


INTRODUCTION

"Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunderstorm or blaze of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols." Thomas Mann

Time is a social construction that brings order to our lives. Barbara Adam says: "Time is an ordering principle that coordinates, orients, and regulates interactions between people and groups" (Adam 1990:42). It also interprets and makes available our natural worlds. Whether cesium clocks or crop harvests are used to mete out important periods, time helps us understand, organize and use the world around us.

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