Dealing with Disasters

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Abstract

Very little research has attempted to rigorously examine the subject of shamanism in the field of disaster management. The present work aims to compare how Outer Mongolians, Native Americans, and Koreans have enhanced their own forms of shamanism in the field of disaster management. Mixed methods, including qualitative content analysis and the comparative perspective, are the main techniques applied. Qualitative content analysis is used to interpret qualitative data on the three nations, whereas the comparative perspective is applied toward not only generalization but also specialization. Three factors, namely, characteristics of shamanism, natural hazards, and manmade emergencies, are examined across the three forms of shamanism. A key finding is that, although the forms of shamanism among Outer Mongolians, Native Americans, and Koreans have similarly provided psychological relief for disaster victims, each form has embodied different perspectives, respectively, the uncertainty-coping, the healing-based, and the manmade emergencies-oriented perspective. This research thus applied shamanism to disaster management in a systematic and comprehensive way.