Relationships between floods and social fragmentation: A case study of Chiayi, Taiwan


  • Lee Yung Jaan Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research
  • Peng Li Pei National Taiwan University, Taiwan
  • Lee Ting Jay National Taiwan University, Taiwan


Palabras clave:

Floods, social fragmentation, social vulnerability, disaster, overlay analysis


Lee, Y.-J. Peng, L.-P., & Lee, T.-J. (March-April, 2017). Relationships between floods and social fragmentation: A case study of Chiayi, Taiwan. Water Technology and Sciences (in Spanish), 8(2), 5-18.

The social vulnerability approach has been recognized as one of the most important tools for exploring contexts and coping strategies in relation to contemporary disasters. However, social vulnerability is such a multi-faceted and complex construct that scholars from different fields have not reached consensus on how best to measure it, and discussions on this issue continue. Some scholars consider that this approach can manifest the role of human agency. However, given a lack of historical observations, interpreting the causes of disasters through event-based perspectives cannot easily reflect the institutional mechanism behind disaster events. Thus, this study applies a social fragmentation concept to represent the opposite of social integration and depicts the trend of social fragmentation based on historical data from 1983–2011 in the Chiayi County, Taiwan. Furthermore, this study overlays the trend of social fragmentation and the flood map at the township level using the GIS technique. Four types of social fragmentation are identified, namely “continuous high social fragmentation,” “transformed social fragmentation,” “fluctuating social fragmentation” and “continuous low social fragmentation”. The study suggests that the social fragmentation approach can play a supplementary role in measuring the social vulnerability indicator.