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Sociology of Structural Disaster , The: Beyond Fukushima

Matsumoto, Miwao (University of Tokyo, Japan)

978 1 138 23034 7
List price(s):
150.00 USD
105.00 GBP

Publication date:
31 March 2018

Full description: 

How and why did credible scientists, engineers, government officials, journalists and others collectively give rise to a drastic failure to control threats to the population? Why was here no effort on the part of inter-organizational networks, well-coordinated for maximizing benefits in the `village', to prevent the risks from turning into a disaster? This book answers these questions by formulating the concept of structural disaster afresh. First, the book presents the path-dependent development of structural disaster through a sociological reformulation of path-dependent mechanisms not only in the context of nuclear energy but also in the context of renewable energy. Secondly, it traces the origins of structural disaster to a secret accident involving standardized military technology immediately before World War II and an opportunistic utilisation of the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, thus reconstructing the development of structural disaster within a long-term historical perspective. Taking distance from conflicts of interest and cultural essentialisms, this book highlights configurations and mechanisms of structural disasters, far more persistent, more universal, but less visible, that have turned risk into suffering. It seeks to cast light on an important new horizon of the science-technology-society interface in the sociologies of science and technology, the sociology of disaster, the social history of the military-industrial-university complex, and beyond.

Table of contents: 

PrefaceIntroductionChapter 1. The `Structural Disaster' Behind Fukushima: Beyond the Sociology of RiskChapter 2. The Theory of Structural Disaster: Sector Model and Heterogeneous Agents in the Science-Technology-Society InterfaceChapter 3. Institutional Inaction by Compliance: The SPEEDI StoryChapter 4. The Origin of the `Structural Disaster' in Depth: From Secured `Villages' to Nuclear RegimeChapter 5. A Potential `Structural Disaster' in Oceanic Renewable Energy: A Hidden Link to Stratospheric Ozone DepletionChapter 6. `Structural Disaster' and the Path-Dependent Wind Turbine RegimeChapter 7. The Mechanisms of Myth-Creation and Myth-Destruction: The Social Resilience of Relevant OutsidersChapter 8. To Understand or Not To Understand?: Nuclear Waste Questions Posed at the Science-Technology-Society InterfaceChapter 9. How To Make Infinite Responsibility Finite?: HLW and Emergent `Structural Disaster' beyond FukushimaChapter 10. Conclusion


Miwao Matsumoto is a Professor of Science, Technology and Society Studies at the University of Tokyo, Japan.



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