Tulane Researchers Document Racial and Class Differences in Responses to Hurricane Katrina

March 27, 2006

Kathryn Hobgood
Phone: 504-865-5210

According to a new study by Tulane University researchers, African-Americans from New Orleans were four times more likely to lose their jobs, more likely to experience high stress levels, and more likely to rely on religious faith than their white counterparts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

These are just a few of the findings by Tulane sociology professor James R. Elliott and sociology graduate student Jeremy Pais, who have completed a study on human responses to Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. The researchers used data from a Gallup telephone survey conducted one month after the storm with 1,510 adult survivors from across the Gulf South region.

Elliott and Pais analyzed patterns in evacuation behavior, housing and employment, post-disaster coping and stress and likelihood of return, and determined significant racial and class differences in the patterns. The two presented their analyses at the 69th annual meeting of the Southern Sociological Society in New Orleans this past weekend. An article based on this research is to be published in the June issue of Social Science Research.

For more information, contact Elliott at 504-862-3010 or e-mail 

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000