Negotiations of Acknowledgement Among Middle Class Residents: An Analysis of Post Disaster Interactions and Performance in a Danish Context

August 2013 (VOL. 31, NO. 2)

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This article presents an analysis of communication processes between residents, between residents and people in the broader societal context, as well as of media coverage of a fireworks disaster in a Danish suburb. It demonstrates how residents (all members of the Danish middle class) were able to have their situation—their affectedness—acknowledged in interactions with others and gain considerable attention immediately after the accident. In addition, it demonstrates how the initial acknowledgement decreased over time. In this case, the axes of differentiation did not relate to questions of gender, ethnicity, class or other social categories normally recognized as influential in case of disasters. Since the population in the area was very homogenous, the axis of differentiation was instead linked to the social category of affectedness, and a hierarchy of affectedness was identified within the population.