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Title: Time and Tide: Residential Decisions in an Era of Climate Change
Authors: Jayasankar, Kalyani Monteiro
Advisors: DuneierCenteno, MitchellMiguel
Contributors: Sociology Department
Keywords: Climate Change
Environmental Inequality
Residential Decisions
Subjects: Sociology
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation explores the dynamics of residential decision-making in relation to climate change and flooding through ethnographic fieldwork in Mumbai and Miami, two cities at risk. Through the lens of time, it explains how individuals make decisions about staying, moving, and adapting in response to flooding. First, I use temporal frames to refer to the meta-narratives of time that residents employ to make sense of changing environmental conditions. Temporal frames allow for an understanding of how individuals and communities narrativize the relationship between the past, present, and future, and by extension, climate change. Second, I show how time serves as a framework to illuminate the operation of social class, race, and caste in everyday micro-encounters. I focus on temporal inequality, the disparate degree to which individuals have agency over their own time. I argue that residential decisions are mediated through temporal experiences, shaped by state support or its absence. I identify three experiences: stalled time for those who are forced to wait and face uncertain futures; compressed time for those who intend and can act with urgency; and relaxed time for those who have the luxury of waiting. I leverage the comparison between the cities to show that in Mumbai, residents experience an unpredictable state, one that may or may not provide for them. Meanwhile, in Miami, the state provides more dependable safety nets, though these are often priced out of reach. This dissertation contributes to growing research in sociology on how individuals negotiate the impacts of climate change. First, it provides an understanding of how individuals behave in situations of uncertainty. By examining how time, a common and non-renewable resource, is experienced in unequal ways, I lay out a typology that could illuminate individual behavior inother situations such as epidemics and economic crises. Second, this dissertation contributes an understanding of how governance structures across the Global North and South shape the decisions and material conditions of individuals and communities. Finally, this dissertation provides insights into the contours of environment inequality in two cities, creating avenues to design equitable adaptation policies that account for these micro-level decisions.
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Sociology

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