Preparedness Pedagogies


This website was constructed to disseminate the results of the ESRC project ‘Preparedness pedagogies and ‘race’: an interdisciplinary approach’
(RES-000-22-3437) which ran from April 2009 – May 2010. The project involved investigators from the University of East London and Kingston University.

The investigators were: John Preston, Namita Chakrabarty and Barry Avery.  Although the project is now complete, we will use this site to update you of further outputs and impacts arising from the project.

Preparedness can be conceived as the deployment of pedagogies for alerting and preparing the population for a catastrophic event.  In a nuclear war or terrorist attack citizens might be instructed on how to ’shelter in place’ or to collect items for a ‘bug out bag’ in case of evacuation.

The project examined the pedagogical principles underlying preparedness campaigns through which citizens are taught and learn to prepare.  Using critical race theory, implications for racial and other forms of equality were explored.

The project was interdisciplinary and produced a variety of multimedia and web resources. It used a variety of methods:

  • Mapping and discourse analysis of preparedness materials were used,
    drawing on current and historical UK sources and contemporary US materials
  • Qualitative research methods traced the policy development, reception,
    and performance, of preparedness materials
  • Through policy interviews the development and production of ‘Protect
    and Survive’ (1980) and ‘Preparing for Emergencies’ (2004) was examined
  • Focus groups were used to ascertain how preparedness materials are
    received and interpreted
  • Innovatively visual ethnography and performance theory was deployed to
    analyse the dramatisation of preparedness pedagogies
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