Search type

Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute

Holly Schofield

Thesis title

'Sense of Place in the Aftermath of Disaster: Attachment, Identity and Dependency Among the Urban Poor in Cities of the Global South'


My research focuses on how the poor in cities of the global south experience disasters. Broadly speaking it aims to contribute to knowledge on the ways in which individuals frame and then cope with disaster occurrence and also how disasters affect people’s everyday life and social worlds and realities. In particular the research seeks to understand the relationship between disasters and place attachment, identity and dependency.

More specifically, it will analyse what role the strength of an individual’s place attachment, identity and dependency plays in shaping how they experience a disaster and then also how the disaster event itself impacts upon the strength of those sentiments for the individual.

Research interests

I am particularly interested in how the poor experience disaster in the urban setting with a particular focus on cities of the global south. In addition to this, my wider research interests include:

  • The relationship between disasters, poverty and urban development
  • The anthropology of disasters
  • Urban poverty, inequality and disaster vulnerability
  • Urban areas as the settings for current and future humanitarian emergencies.
  • Humanitarian action and challenges in urban contexts
  • Urban displacement

Teaching interests

In line with my research interests I would be interested in teaching or assisting in classes focusing on or relating to; disasters and development, the sociology of disaster, humanitarian action and challenges in the urban setting and urban displacement.

Previous education

  • MA Humanitarianism and Conflict Response
  • BA (Hons) International Relations and Spanish

Why I'm doing a PhD at HCRI

Having completed a Masters Degree with the HCRI I was keen to remain part of an institute in which I could work closely with top academics from a wide range of disciplines, leading humanitarian practitioners and NGOs. The multidisciplinary approach adopted and promoted by the institute enriches the research experience by widening the breadth of disciplinary traditions, expertise and networking opportunities available.

Contact details