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Hurricane Gilbert: Anthropomorphising a Natural Disaster

David Barker and David Miller
Area
Vol. 22, No. 2 (Jun., 1990), pp. 107-116
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20002812
Page Count: 10
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Hurricane Gilbert: Anthropomorphising a Natural Disaster
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Abstract

Hurricane Gilbert was the most powerful tropical cyclone ever recorded in the western hemisphere. This paper describes briefly its impact on the island of Jamaica, focussing on both the physical environment and national economy. The population invested the hurricane with a personality. Anthropomorphism is seen as a form of cognitive dissonance, and humour is singled out as a key psychological prop in this social context in helping relieve the anxiety and stress created in the wake of the disaster.

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