Drought, Discourse and Durkheim

BD West, P Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we report the results of an extensive qualitative analysis of Australian discourses on drought. Themes in Australian discourses on drought are broadly Durkheimian in nature, referring to the need to reaffirm social morality and solidarity in the face of an unexpected and unprecedented challenge from nature. A brief analysis of statistical data suggests that drought discourses have a relative autonomy from both meteorological and social structural determinants. The paper concludes by theorising why 'drought' is so often invoked as a symbolic threat to the Australian national community.
Translated title of the contributionDrought, Discourse and Durkheim
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93 - 102
Number of pages10
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Sociology
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1996


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