How does the backlash against Asian Americans, especially those of Chinese descent, during COVID-19 parallel backlashes against other minority groups that followed events like 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina? What is the role of researchers during disaster events like COVID-19? Dr. Lori Peek, professor of sociology and Director of the Natural Hazard Center at University of Colorado-Boulder, discusses patterns of post-disaster backlash violence and the importance of funding transdisciplinary disaster research. Dr. Peek talks about her work on anti-Muslim backlash following 9/11 and it it relates to current anti-Asian violence, the difficulty of researching backlash violence, and how to balance psychological and historical explanations for backlash responses to disasters. She also discusses the history, mission, and ongoing work of the Natural Hazard Center. Dr. Peek argues that the pandemic could be a pivotal moment for social science research on disasters, encouraging the funding of new work and the rediscovery of existing work. For further reading: Behind the Backlash: Muslim Americans after 9/11 “The Continuing Significance of Race: Antiblack Discrimination in Public Spaces” Lessons of Disaster: Policy Change after Catastrophic Events CONVERGE
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