Risk and Culture (Mary Douglas) pdf, epub, doc

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Douglas and Wildavsky (1982) stresses that risk perception is culturally and socially constituted, and rational behaviour is fundamentally relative to the typologies of risks that are produced in accordance to the ontological meanings that form a culture’s worldview.According to Douglas and Wildavsky (1982: 6):
‘The perception of risk is a social process.All society depends on combinations of confidence and fear. . .The different social principles that guide behaviour affect the judgement of what dangers should be most feared, what risks are worth taking, and who should be allowed to take them.’
Within the context of risk perception, rational behaviour is a manifestation of specific cultural practices of avoidance that forms a society’s risk portfolio.They illustrate how perceiving subjects of one culture, the Lele people of Zaire, focus on avoiding ‘being struck by lightning, the affliction of barrenness, and one disease, bronchitis’ (ibid, :7) while inhabiting a social environment that is prone to a wide range of tropical diseases, such as fever, gastroenteritis, tuberculosis, leprosy, ulcers, barrenness, and pneumonia. The natural environment is socially produced and its associated risks are influenced by the set of a values belonging to a particular way of life.

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Book info

  • Author:
  • Publisher:University of California Press
  • File: 4.4 Mb
  • Ganre: Anthropology
  • Release: 02.10.1983
  • ISBN: 9780520050631
  • Pages 224
  • Rating: 4.59 (38 votes)


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