Risk Perception in Community Context: A Case Study

  • Janet M. Fitchen
  • Jenifer S. Heath
  • June Fessenden-Raden
Part of the Technology, Risk, and Society book series (RISKGOSO, volume 3)


This chapter takes a holistic, contextual, and community-based approach to understanding social construction of risks. Our research utilizes community settings as arenas in which actual localized risks are perceived and addressed.1 The case study approach enables us to examine the dynamics of risk perception, concentrating on overt expressions and reactions over time, rather than on individual perceptions at a single point in time This naturalistic in situ approach reveals factors influencing risk perception that may be obscured in studies in which individual respondents are asked to rank hypothetical risks without regard for the complicating factors and actual consequences that exist in ongoing community life see, for contrast, the psychometric research of Slovic et al. 1980, 1984.


Health Risk Environmental Protection Agency Risk Perception Local Official Community Context 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janet M. Fitchen
  • Jenifer S. Heath
  • June Fessenden-Raden

There are no affiliations available

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