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mary douglas risk and culture pdf

book How, then, do people decide which risks to take and which to ignore? on JSTOR. Try logging in through your institution for access. What is more, the risks are so great that no knowledgeable individual would accept them. Their views about risk are not to be considered as independent ideas or personal preferences so much as public statements topping different social structures. We expect that those which show up as most hierarchical in their relation with each other and the outside world will also be making the more typically hierarchical selection of dangers. The advantages of quantitative growth, the argument goes, have to be sacrificed to improve the quality of life. All rights reserved. Science wrought this change between us and nonmoderns. So long as their loyalties are turned toward centers or borders, people will buy a whole package of political judgments about nature, human and physical, that go with center or border views. In our modern world people are supposed to live and die subject to known, measurable natural forces, not subject to mysterious moral agencies. That mode of reasoning, indeed, is what makes modern man modern. Risk and Culture Book Description: The concern of many Americans with dangers to the natural environment is not justified rationally, according to the authors, but results from American cultural biases and the political goals of environmentalists. Any rational outlook always includes blinkers. 2020 by the Regents of the University of California. And there are short-term factors predisposing the events to occur when they do. Little hierarchies speak and act like big... Why did sectarian forces grow so much stronger in America in the mid-1960s? Introduction: Can We Know The Risks We Face? If institutional forms imply strategies and values, analysis that works for the center will also apply to the border. Most people cannot be aware of most dangers at most times. Douglas was considered a follower of Émile Durkheim and a proponent of structuralist analysis, with a strong interest in comparative religion. Hence, no one can calculate precisely the total risk to be faced. The author is particularly concerned to highlight the partiality of their favoured renditions of the social reality of risk perception in relation … What can be said about them is mostly well known. Risk and Culture: An Essay on the Selection of Technological and Environmental Dangers [Douglas, Mary, Wildavsky, Aaron] on Amazon.com. “Decisions about risk require sophisticated reasoning on behalf of both experts and the public. Can we know the risks we face, now or in the future? What is worse, the risks are the more insidious for being kept secret. It is not easy to explain why significant events occurred at a particular point in time. We can demonstrate the social theory of risk perception by classifying them according to their principles of organization. The concern of many Americans with dangers to the natural environment is not justified rationally, according to the authors, but results from American cultural biases and the political goals of environmentalists. The risk-averse side starts from the point that unbridled economic growth has hurt the natural environment and human life. Most people cannot be aware of most dangers at most times. She observed that different societies feared different sorts of threats, and that these differences correlated with differences in their social structure. Risk and Culture: An Essay on the Selection of Technological and Environmental Dangers This book explores how we decide what risks to take and which to ignore, both as individuals and as a culture. For anyone disposed to worry about the unknown, science has actually expanded the universe about which we cannot speak with confidence. She proposed a functionalist explanation: social structures (which she called "ways of life") generate attitudes toward the world (which she called "cultural biases") that serve to uphold the social structure. Here is a case of cultural change to which cultural analysis can be applied. Douglas was considered a follower of Émile Durkheim and a proponent of structuralist analysis, with a strong interest in comparative religion. The land has been despoiled, the seas polluted, and people diseased. We moderns are supposed to behave differently, especially because the same science and technology that make us modern also produce our risks and because advanced statistics enable us to calculate them. There are medium-range factors, closer to the time in question, that facilitate the emergence of certain patterns of behavior. Pages: 224 The human race and its physical environment is threatened with degradation or even extinction. Those organized on voluntaristic, egalitarian principles will make the sectarian selection of risks and justify their view of danger with a recognizably sectarian worldview. ISBN: 9780520050631 You do not have access to this The movement that now defends the natural environment from the effects of technology is allied to similar movements in Europe. Privacy Policy, An Essay on the Selection of Technological and Environmental Dangers. Cultural Theory arose out of the work of Mary Douglas, an anthropologist studying traditional African religion. Risk and Culture: An Essay on the Selection of Technical and Environmental Dangers @inproceedings{Robbins1983RiskAC, title={Risk and Culture: An Essay on the Selection of Technical and Environmental Dangers}, author={Thomas Robbins and Mary Douglas and Aaron B. Wildavsky}, year={1983} } On what basis are certain dangers guarded against and others relegated to secondary status? *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Improve the labeling on poisons, smarten the packaging of information about risks, then all that is required for correct perception is to rev up the reasoning process. https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/j.ctt7zw3mr, (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...). On what basis are certain dangers guarded against and others relegated to secondary status? The shortcomings of the vision of individualists and hierarchists have naturally drawn a lot of scholarly attention. The political argument over technology is conducted between the heavily risk averse and the risk takers. DOI: 10.2307/1385678 Corpus ID: 144241211. All Rights Reserved. There are general historical factors operating throughout American history. Mary Douglas shows that to examine what is considered as unclean in any culture is to take a looking-glass approach to the ordered patterning which that culture strives to establish. JSTOR®, the JSTOR logo, JPASS®, Artstor®, Reveal Digital™ and ITHAKA® are registered trademarks of ITHAKA. Rights: Available worldwide They will never agree, said Sidney Smith about two Edinburgh women hurling insults at each other from the top windows of their tenements; they are arguing from different premises. Conclusion: Risk is a Collective Construct. Dame Mary Douglas, DBE, FBA (25 March 1921 – 16 May 2007) was a British anthropologist, known for her writings on human culture and symbolism, whose area of speciality was social anthropology. The idea that public perception of risk and its acceptable levels are collective constructs, a bit like language and a bit like... JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization helping the academic community use digital technologies to preserve the scholarly record and to advance research and teaching in sustainable ways.

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