Publication Date



Presented at the Anthropologists and Sociologists of Kentucky Conference, October 2008.


The prior literature on the sociology of disasters has primarily examined community responses to large-scale episodic disasters, such as in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005. However, the study of persistent and chronic disasters in developing countries represents an area that has largely been ignored in prior studies. Flint and Luloff’s (2005) Inter-actional theory as a framework, our research examines the influence of perceived risk, vulnerability and community characteristics on human-wildlife conflict among 275 subsistence-based farmers living in four small villages in Southeastern Kenya. These farmers rely on a horticultural and pastoral economy for survival and reside in four villages located between two of Kenya’s largest national parks. These parks are unfenced, and the consumption or hunting of wildlife represents a criminal act in Kenya. Conflict with wildlife represents a chronic and persistent risk that can be disastrous when their crops and livestock are destroyed.


Anthropology | Place and Environment | Sociology