Ethan J. Raker is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of British Columbia working in the areas of social stratification, medical sociology, and environmental sociology. His scholarship brings together various sources of novel data to examine the relationship between climate change and inequalities in human health and community well-being. He holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University.
Climate change exacerbates the severity, frequency, and patterning of extreme weather. My scholarship examines the consequences of these climate-related extremes, e.g., tropical cyclones and heat waves, for racial and socioeconomic disparities in human health and well-being and for community well-being. In doing so, I focus analytic attention on the role of social contexts and political institutions in creating the conditions for disaster and in responding or changing in ways that exacerbate inequality.
Health and Socio-Environmental Context
In one line of work, I examine how climate change affects physical and mental health outcomes, focusing on the intervening role of social, economic, and political factors. Several projects in this line of work include (1) a long-term panel study of low-income survivors of Hurricane Katrina and (2) a multi-pronged project on fertility and birth outcomes using linked population-level natality data and measures of climate extremes, socioeconomic conditions, and local adaptation.
Disasters and Neighborhood Inequality
In a second line of work, I examine the population consequences of disasters for communities. Here I focus on understanding the role of political institutions in creating disaster-prone conditions and responding in ways that unequally structure post-disaster well-being. Several projects in this line of work include (1) a study of social vulnerability and neighborhood change after tornadoes and (2) several papers examining how mitigation and response policies by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) exacerbate racial inequality in the U.S. after tropical cyclones from 2005-2016.