Post-apocalyptic writers take note

On The Civilizing Power of Disaster:

“Researchers in disaster science have again and again debunked the idea that catastrophe causes social breakdown and releases the ugliest parts of human nature. Research from the past several decades demonstrates, as one report put it, “that panic is not a problem in disasters; that rather than helplessly awaiting outside aid, members of the public behave proactively and prosocially to assist one another; that community residents themselves perform many critical disaster tasks, such as searching for and rescuing victims; and that both social cohesiveness and informal mechanisms of social control increase during disasters, resulting in a lower incidence of deviant behavior.” People become their best selves when crisis strikes.

“The history of modern disasters entails a parallel history of people suddenly exhibiting communal, altruistic impulses … A growing body of research suggests that large-scale emergencies loosen social mores just enough to open up new spaces for human resilience, imagination, and compassion.”

Janni Lee Simner

About Janni Lee Simner

Janni Lee Simner is the author of the post-apocalyptic Bones of Faerie trilogy and the contemporary fantasy Thief Eyes, as well as four books for younger children, more than 30 short stories, and the script for the video game The Huntsman: Winter’s Curse. Check out her Writing Life Series for practical tools to hone your writing craft and unlock your creative power or join her email list for ongoing updates here.
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