The Disaster of Hurricane Katrina: Malfeasance, Offical Deviance and the Failure to Serve and Protect a Community

By Jason Herron and Michael W. Smith.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Hurricane Katrina, a foreseeable tragedy that occurred in New Orleans, Louisiana in August of 2005, took lives and damaged homes for a vast majority of people in the area. Katrina, a category-3 hurricane as it approached the United States, seemed like just routine hurricane. Tragically, Hurricane Katrina turned into a disaster due to the malfeasance and official deviance of local, state, and federal public officials and their agencies/institutions that that failed to protect and serve the citizens of New Orleans and the outlying areas. The majority of these citizens suffered devstationg damage to their homes and businesses, as well as the deathss of family members and friends. From a socio-historical and political perspective, the authors examine: 1) the geographical location and its vulnerability to hurricanes; 2) the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers’ role in the design, construction, and failure of the levees; 3) the response by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other federal actors; 4) the failure by public officals and agencies/institutions to fund and repair the levees; and 5) the malfeasance and official deviance by public officals and agencies/institutions by not protecting and serving the citizens of New Orleans and the outlying areas.

Keywords: Hurricane Katrina, Socio-historical Perspective, Political Perspective, Malfeassance, Official Deviance, U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers, Federal Emergency Management Agency

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 6, Issue 5, pp.127-140. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 882.358KB).

Jason Herron

Law Student, Saint Anselm College, Saint Anselm College, Northeaston, MA, USA

Jason Herron, a sociology major, is a graduate of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH. In September, he will be attending law school at Massachusetts School of Law. Mr. Herron’s career goal is to be a district attorney (prosecutor).

Dr. Michael W. Smith

Full Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, Saint Anselm College, Nashua, MA, USA

Dr. Smith is a full professor of sociology at Saint Anselm College (Manchester, NH). He teaches courses on genocide, terrorism, criminology, race and ethnic relations, and law and society. Dr. Smith’s published research has been on wrongful convictions, plea bargaining, immigration, political asylum, official deviance and malfeasance, and the dramaturgy of criminal trials. Since 1993, he has been a criminal defense and civil rights attorney in Massachusetts.


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