Together we survive: the role of social messaging networks in building social capital and disaster resilience among minority communities

Haoran Chu, Sixiao Liu, Janet Z. Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Ethnic and racial minority communities often suffer more from disasters due to a lack of access to resources from governmental agencies and other organizations that provide disaster relief. To explore the role of social media in addressing this problem, this study investigates whether a popular social messaging application among the Chinese immigrant community, WeChat, helped victims of Harvey overcome the detrimental impacts of the hurricane. In particular, we compared Chinese Houstonians’ psychological well-being with other ethnic and racial minority groups in the region. Results indicate that Chinese WeChat users in Houston successfully utilized social capital and achieved stronger resilience as compared to other ethnic and racial groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2711-2729
Number of pages19
JournalNatural Hazards
Volume106
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Keywords

  • Disaster resilience
  • Ethnic minority
  • Immigrant
  • Social capital
  • Social media

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