Do ICTs Help To Maintain Social Capital In The Disaster Recovery Phase? A Case Study Of The L'aquila Earthquake
The use of information and communication technologies (ICTs), especially of the social networking sites (SNSs), in emergency situations is constantly on the rise. With this study, we have investigated the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) after the massive changes that occurred in the physical environment following the L’Aquila earthquake (central Italy) in 2009. Two years after the disaster, thirteen key individuals affected by the earthquake were interviewed through semi-structured interviews. Results suggest that new media can serve, to some extent, similar functions of sustaining the creation and maintenance of social relationships as the ones previously fulfilled by physical spaces. Although limited, this research may have the potential to open up an interesting debate on the web-mediated construction of the concept of “place” in the wake of a disaster.
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