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Vol. 5, No. 4; August 2016 (abstract 15)

American International Journal of Social Science

ISSN 2325-4149(Print), ISSN 2325-4165(Online)

Rumor Anxiety in Post-Disaster Tohoku
Michael R. Smith

In this article, it will be argued that Social Capital―a conglomerate of factors which make up subjects' social networks and normsi―was important in the palliation of harmful rumours which appeared in the post-disaster environment of Ishinomaki City, Japan following the great earthquake and tsunami of 2011. Furthermore, this research aims to understand what age and gender groups within the Ishinomaki City were most vulnerable to rumour-related trauma in the interest of providing organizations like local governments, medical organizations, and NGOs with better models for identifying the mid- to long-term psychological needs of natural disaster victims. The way in which post-disaster rumours are born and spread, as well as their potential harm, is a subject thoroughly documented by academics (Danzig E.R., Prasad J., Larsen O.M., Scanlon T., Walker C.J.). However, this research seeks to differentiate itself from previous studies by using a quantitative model to measure and subjective levels of anxiety in disaster victims. Ishinomaki City was chosen for this research based on the fact that it was one of the cities which suffered the most severe tsunami damage during the 3.11 disaster.ii As a result, recovery in this region has been particularly prolonged.iii This allowed the researcher to directly observe the community's ongoing recovery over a long period of time as well as engage in surveys and interviews with the victims. In order to prove that social capital acted as a mitigating factor in the prevention of the psychological harm caused by post-disaster rumours in Ishinomaki, the following questions need to be addressed:

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