My second attempt at a focus statement, this time, argument included:
My research project is about the Saltville Dam Disaster of 1924 and the impact it had on the surrounding community. More specifically, I wish to discover if any specific socioeconomic or minority group within the community was disproportionately vulnerable to this event and if so, what contributed to their vulnerability. I contend that those in the path of the flood faced disproportionate vulnerability for two reasons: First, because their socioeconomic standing determined and/or limited where they could live, and second, because they did not perceive their homes to be in an area at risk of disaster. These two factors, though seemingly unrelated, actually uncover a connection to a broader disaster culture that exists within the United States in which the socioeconomically or racially marginalized face the greatest susceptibility to disaster. I plan to use company records of Mathieson Alkali Works, newspaper articles about the local, state, and national response to the disaster, maps of Saltville and the Alkali Works plant, and census records to glean a better understanding of the demographic composition of the community, the role of the company in the town, and the response in the wake of the disaster.
While I intend to make this argument about the Saltville Disaster as long as I can find substantiating evidence, I do wonder if my argument follows to closely to the one being made by Ted Steinberg, and therefore will have to consider the ways in which my argument will differ from or build upon his own.