The Social and Cultural Construction of Risk

Essays on Risk Selection and Perception

  • Branden B. Johnson
  • Vincent T. Covello

Part of the Technology, Risk, and Society book series (RISKGOSO, volume 3)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Reality, Perception, and the Social Construction of Risk

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
  3. Community Dynamics and the Social Construction of Risk

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 25-25
    2. Janet M. Fitchen, Jenifer S. Heath, June Fessenden-Raden
      Pages 31-54
    3. Martha R. Fowlkes, Patricia Y. Miller
      Pages 55-78
  4. Environmental Protest Movements, Citizen Groups, and the Social Construction of Risk

  5. Agenda-Setting, Group Conflict, and the Social Construction of Risk

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 177-177
    2. Harold Issadore Sharlin
      Pages 183-197
    3. Janet M. Bronstein
      Pages 199-226
  6. Organizations and the Social Construction of Risk

  7. Experts and the Social Construction of Risk

  8. Back Matter
    Pages 399-403

About this book


The Social and Cultural Construction of Risk: Issues, Methods, and Case Studies Vincent T. Covello and Branden B. Johnson Risks to health, safety, and the environment abound in the world and people cope as best they can. But before action can be taken to control, reduce, or eliminate these risks, decisions must be made about which risks are important and which risks can safely be ignored. The challenge for decision makers is that consensus on these matters is often lacking. Risks believed by some individuals and groups to be tolerable or accept­ able - such as the risks of nuclear power or industrial pollutants - are intolerable and unacceptable to others. This book addresses this issue by exploring how particular technological risks come to be selected for societal attention and action. Each section of the volume examines, from a different perspective, how individuals, groups, communities, and societies decide what is risky, how risky it is, and what should be done. The writing of this book was inspired by another book: Risk and Culture: An Essay on the Selection of Technoloqical and Environmental Dangers. Published in 1982 and written by two distinguished scholars - Mary Douglas, a British social anthropologist, and Aaron Wildavsky, an American political scientist - the book received wide critical attention and offered several provocative ideas on the nature of risk selection, perception, and acceptance.


environment environmental movement formation health organization risk assessment safety

Editors and affiliations

  • Branden B. Johnson
    • 1
  • Vincent T. Covello
    • 2
  1. 1.Michigan Technological UniversityUSA
  2. 2.National Science FoundationUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1987
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-94-010-8021-7
  • Online ISBN 978-94-009-3395-8
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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Oil, Gas & Geosciences