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C. Anne Claus, Sarah Osterhoudt, Lauren Baker, Luisa Cortesi, Chris Hebdon and Amy Zhang

In this chapter we examine the contributions that the field of political ecology––with its focus on the mutually constitutive relationships between environments, cultures, politics and power––has made, and can continue to make, to a more nuanced understanding of disasters. Disaster research also contributes to political ecology insofar as it illuminates the complexity of relationships between environments and societies over space and time. Drawing from ethnographic examples and historical analysis, we situate epistemologies of disasters within broader analyses of scale-making, nature–culture dichotomies, the classification of disasters as ‘natural’ or ‘social’, the interpretive dimensions of identity and the construction of self. The very definition of a situation as ‘disastrous’ or not varies with one’s political resources. Overall, we argue that political ecology frameworks pose new questions about the operation of power and politics in contexts of disasters, resulting in enriched understandings of the social experience of disasters. Ethnographic examples, such as those presented in this chapter, illustrate the rich promise of continued work at the confluence of the fields of political ecology and disaster studies.

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Lauren Istvandity, Sarah Baker, Jez Collins, Simone Driessen and Catherine Strong

While the traditional model for third places as devised by Oldenburg refers mainly to the neutral social conditions of meeting places outside work and home, such as cafes and bars, transformations in twenty-first century society pave the way for new ways of thinking about third place. In this chapter, the authors suggest a range of outlets connected with popular music heritage practices could be considered incarnations of third place. Case studies drawing on empirical data from individual research projects in the area of popular music heritage are presented, comprising do-it-yourself archiving, digital archives, walking tours, and pop music reunion tours. In doing this, the authors demonstrate the alignment of these activities with the majority of central third place tenets, suggesting the wider impact of both music heritage practices and the increasing currency of third place in current times.