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Flashcards in Cultural approaches to risk Deck (26):

Which approach does Douglas have towards studying risks?

She includes culture. In the muffled ears text, she focuses on how physical disasters are used systematically in the micro-politics on social institutions.


How does an individual define a situation a.t. Douglas?

The definition is a result of selected elements from psykological and social processes in the individuals own and surrounding activities.
The selection is guided by culture specific intuitions


A.t. Douglas what can we make political decisions about?

Only things that we have a cultural knowledge about - e.g. fishermen can make decisions about weather conditions


Which three types of organisations does Douglas identify?

Market, bureaucracies and voluntary groups


What function does culture have a.t. Arnoldi?

It works as an interpretive filter which influences how we understand the world.
The filter is not static but under constant negotiation


What role does risks play in the public debate?

Douglas: It is a discussion of politics
Arnoldi: It is a discussion of the good society


How does Arnoldi see risks?

As socially constructed


What is the dread factor?

How much people fear something based on its complexity, uncontrollability etc
Often the highest dread factor with low prop high impact events


How does we perceive risks?

Through a cultural schemata regulating what dangers seem possible. Douglas' point is, that when the perceived reality brings this classificatory system out of balance risks emerge
Individual experiences e.g. due to socio-economic situations, does also play a role


What is scientific arguments about?

Not only scientific uncertainty concerning risks, but also conflicting values - risks are framed differently, which creates conflicts


What is the social amplification risk framework?

A model for studying how the complex processes through which risks are framed in the public e.g. through research, medias, lobbyists, public agencies etc


What is the consequence of establishing cost/benefit as a way of determine level of risk acceptability?

It hides the political choice, and there is no neutral tool of measurement


What is politics about?

Risk selection. We choose what to focus on, and even to calculate the prop of something, we have made a choice


What happens if you say something is a risk?

Then you have to act on it, and if you dont and something happen, you can be held responsible


How does Douglas define culture?

As the publically shared collection of principles and values used at any one time to justify behavior.
- when selecting risks the moral and political order is reinforced


What does Rayner mean by grid and groups?

Grid = multiple hierarchies
Group = social networks
(think it is the general way i.e. the same as Douglas)


What do we need to ask instead of how safe is safe enough a.t. Rayner?

How fair is safe enough?


What is the conventional way of understanding the perceiver of risk communication?

As a passive recipient instead of an active agent


What is the goal of conventional risk communication?

To transmit information in order to educate the perceiver


How does cultural theory differ from conventional approaches to risk perception?

It assumes an active perceiver


What is the ultimate cause of risk perception in cultural theory?

Institutional structures


Which six major objections are there to cultural theory a.t. Rayner?

1. it leads to cultural relativism
2. it is no more than stereotyping
3. it cannot accommodate differences of scale
4. it is deterministic
5. ignores issues of power and self interests
6. is inherently conservative


Can risk perception be irrational?

No, since risk perception is depending on culture it differs between groups - what is rational to one group might seem irrational to another


What is a culture of risk?

It is influenced by a cultural set of values and the societal structure. Culture is an interpretive filter, which influences how we understand the world. However, Rayner states that human knowledge is constrained by other things than culture and socially constructed categories, e.g. natural forces that would exist in the absence of human agency


Which goals does Douglas' three types of organisations have?

1. Market: preservation of individual freedom. Responsibility in the wake of a disaster lies in the hands of a leader who lost power.
2. Bureaucracy: to secure the internal structure of authority. Responsibility is bound through collective action and thus when disaster strikes, it will be attributed to collective action dilemmas.
3. The voluntary group: survival of the group. According to Douglas only the latter is well adapted to pick up warnings related to low probability, high consequences disasters. Re- sponsibility is distributed among external and uncontrollable forces, as well as treacherous internal forces that try to undermine society.


What does Douglas mean by the politics of fear?

Promoting fear of especially low probability, high consequence dangers increases the desire to unify or ‘stick together’, and are often used in the voluntary groups, which have most problems holding members together.
Risks (and fear) can therefore be created for political purposes