Date of Award

Summer 8-2-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Urban Studies


College of Urban and Public Affairs

Major Professor

Renia Ehrenfeucht

Second Advisor

Shirley Laska

Third Advisor

Earthea Nance

Fourth Advisor

Monica Farris


The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the experiences of St. Bernard Parish, La., residents as they coped with the impact of the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005. An estimated 50,000 St. Bernard Parish residents relocated to a new home one year after Katina in 2006, and many of those residents moved again. This study examines the effects of the decisions of St. Bernard residents to relocate or to return on their social connections. The utility, adaptability and durability of social networks of these residents will be explored to enrich our knowledge about the social effects of recovery and the role that distance plays in the way residents connect to each other six years after Hurricane Katrina. It also examines the applicability of disaster theory as it relates to this case and develops a methodology for examining the impact of geographic dispersal on social networks.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.