CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

The author deals with the imaginary figures that permeate the discourse and beliefs surrounding disasters, and more precisely those linked with the environment. Therefore, she has to distinguish and define the three registers of a disaster (imaginary, real, and symbolic), based on examples. Analysis of the elements of a psychic reality linked to real threats and to social phenomena shows that displacements occur between them in an irrational way. As a result of this, the processes of denial, of magical thinking, or of trivialization often continue to distort the understanding of the risks of disasters in spite of proved facts and independent scientific research. Nevertheless, local initiatives that are setting up new meaningful social links constitute a real agent for change.


  • Disaster
  • environment
  • social links
  • imaginary
  • denial
  • fantasms
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