PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to describe, explain and provide context for relationships between translation, trust and distrust using accounts of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake given by foreign residents who experienced the disaster.Design/methodology/approachThis research provides a qualitative analysis of ethnographic interview data drawn from a broader study of communication in the 2011 disaster using the cases of 28 foreign residents of the disaster zone from 12 different countries of origin.FindingsThe study confirms the general importance, the linguistic challenges and the context dependency of trust in disaster-related communication at the response phase. It found that translation was involved in some trust reasoning carried out by foreign residents and that translation was an ad hoc act undertaken by linguistically and culturally proficient acquaintances and friends.Research limitations/implicationsThe research examines a limited range of trust phenomena and research participants: only reason-based, social trust described by documented foreign residents of the 2011 disaster zone in Japan was considered. Furthermore, generalisations from the case study data should be approached with caution.Originality/valueThis paper adds to the literature on trust and disaster response as opposed to trust and disaster preparedness, which has already been comprehensively studied. It responds to calls for more studies of the role of context in the understanding of trust and for greater attention to be paid in research to relationships between trust and other phenomena.
Disaster Prevention and Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 14, 2019
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