Risk Management and Political Culture

Social Research Perspectives

Book 12
Russell Sage Foundation
Free sample

This unique comparative study looks at efforts to regulate carcinogenic chemicals in several Western democracies, including the United States, and finds marked national differences in how conflicting scientific interpretations and competing political interests are resolved. Whether risk issues are referred to expert committees without public debate or debated openly in a variety of forums, patterns of interaction among experts, policy makers, and the public reflect fundamental features of each country's political culture. "A provocative argument....Poses interesting questions for the sociology of science, especially science produced for public debate."—Contemporary Sociology A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation's Social Science Frontiers Series
Read more
Collapse

About the author

SHEILA JASANOFF is Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Read more
Collapse
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
Russell Sage Foundation
Read more
Collapse
Published on
Jul 2, 1986
Read more
Collapse
Pages
104
Read more
Collapse
ISBN
9781610443104
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Best For
Read more
Collapse
Language
English
Read more
Collapse
Genres
Business & Economics / General
Business & Economics / Insurance / Risk Assessment & Management
Political Science / Political Process / General
Social Science / General
Read more
Collapse
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Collapse

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
Every day, it seems, we become aware of some new technological or chemical hazard. Yet it is also possible that this very awareness is new, or at least newly heightened. Why are certain kinds of risks suddenly so salient? Are public perceptions of risk simply the sum of individual reactions to individual events, or do social and cultural influences play a role in shaping our definitions of safety, acceptable risk, and danger? Prompted by public outcries and by the confusion and uncertainty surrounding risk management policy, social scientists have begun to address themselves to the issue of risk perception. But as anthropologist Mary Douglas points out, they have been singularly reluctant to examine the cultural bases of risk perception, preferring to concentrate on the individual perceiver making individual choices. This approach leaves unexamined a number of crucial social factors—our concepts of what is "natural" or "artificial," for example; our beliefs about fairness, and our moral judgements about the kind of society in which we want to live. This provocative and path-breaking report seeks to open a sociological approach to risk perception that has so far been systematically neglected. Describing first some exceptions to the general neglect of culture, Douglas builds on these clues and on her own broad anthropological perspective to make a compelling case for focusing on social factors in risk perception. She offers a challenge and a promising new agenda to all who study perceptions of risk and, by extension, to those who study human cognition and choice as well. "An altogether brilliant piece of writing—far-reaching and a joy to read." —Amartya Sen, Oxford University A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation's Social Science Frontiers Series
Classical economic theory assumes that people in risk situations follow a course of action based on a rational, consistent assessment of likely outcomes. But as Zur Shapira demonstrates in Risk Taking, corporate managers consistently stray from the prescribed path into far more subjective territory. Risk Taking offers a critical assessment of the relationship between theory and action in managerial decision making. Shapira offers a definitive account of the classical conception of risky decision making, which derives behavioral prescriptions from a calculation of both the value and the likelihood of possible outcomes. He then demonstrates how theories in this vein have been historically at odds with empirical observations. Risk Taking reports the results of an extensive survey of seven hundred managers that probed their attitudes and beliefs about risk and examined how they had actually made decisions in the face of uncertainty. The picture that emerges is of a dynamic, flexible process in which each manager's personal expertise and perceptions play profound roles. Managerial strategies are continually modified to suit changing circumstances. Rather than formulating probability estimates, executives create potential scenarios based not only on the possible outcomes but also on the many arbitrary factors inherent in their own situations. As Shapira notes, risk taking propensities vary among managers, and the need to maintain control and avoid particularly dangerous results exercises a powerful influence. Shapira also examines the impact of organizational structure, long-term management objectives, and incentives on decision making. With perceptive observations of the cognitive, emotional, and organizational dimensions of corporate decision making, Risk Taking propels the study of managerial risk behavior into new directions. This volume signals the way toward improving managerial decision making by revealing the need for more inclusive choice models that augment classical theory with vital behavioral observations.
After acts of airline terrorism, air travel tends to drop dramatically—yet Americans routinely pursue the far riskier business of driving cards, where accidents resulting in death or injury are much more likely to occur. Reporting on Risk argues that this selective concern with danger is powerfully shaped by the media, whose coverage of potentially hazardous events is governed more by a need to excite the public than to inform it. Singer and Endreny survey a wide range of print and electronic media to provide an unprecedented look at how hundreds of different hazards are presented to the public—from toxic waste and food poisoning to cigarette smoking, from transportation accidents to famine, and from experimental surgery to communicable diseases. Their investigations raise thought-provoking questions about what the media tell us about modern risks, which hazards are covered and which ignored, and how the media determine when hazards should be considered risky. Are natural hazards reported differently than man-made hazards? Is greater emphasis placed on the potential benefits or the potential drawbacks of complex new technologies? Are journalists more concerned with reporting on unproven cures or informing the public about preventative measures? Do newspapers differ from magazines and television in their risk reporting practices? Reporting on Risk investigates how the media place blame for disasters, and looks at how the reporting of risks has changed in the past twenty-five years as such hazards as nuclear power, birth control methods, and industrial by-products have grown in national prominence. The authors demonstrate that the media often fail to report on risks until energized by the occurrence of some disastrous or dramatic event—the Union Carbide pesticide leak in Bhopal, the Challenger explosion, the outbreak of famine in Somalia, or the failed transplant of a baboon heart to "Baby Fae." Sustained attention to these hazards depends less on whether the underlying issues have been resolved than on whether they continue to unfold in newsworthy events. Reporting on Risk examines the accuracy and the amount of information we receive about our environment. It offers a critical perspective on how our perceptions of risk, as shaped by the media, may contribute to misguided individual and public choices for action and prevention in an increasingly complex world. The authors' probing assessment of how the media report a vast array of risks offers insights useful to journalists, policy analysts, risk specialists, legislators, and concerned citizens.
Biology and politics have converged today across much of the industrialized world. Debates about genetically modified organisms, cloning, stem cells, animal patenting, and new reproductive technologies crowd media headlines and policy agendas. Less noticed, but no less important, are the rifts that have appeared among leading Western nations about the right way to govern innovation in genetics and biotechnology. These significant differences in law and policy, and in ethical analysis, may in a globalizing world act as obstacles to free trade, scientific inquiry, and shared understandings of human dignity.

In this magisterial look at some twenty-five years of scientific and social development, Sheila Jasanoff compares the politics and policy of the life sciences in Britain, Germany, the United States, and in the European Union as a whole. She shows how public and private actors in each setting evaluated new manifestations of biotechnology and tried to reassure themselves about their safety.


Three main themes emerge. First, core concepts of democratic theory, such as citizenship, deliberation, and accountability, cannot be understood satisfactorily without taking on board the politics of science and technology. Second, in all three countries, policies for the life sciences have been incorporated into "nation-building" projects that seek to reimagine what the nation stands for. Third, political culture influences democratic politics, and it works through the institutionalized ways in which citizens understand and evaluate public knowledge. These three aspects of contemporary politics, Jasanoff argues, help account not only for policy divergences but also for the perceived legitimacy of state actions.

 Learn the Secret to Insurance Adjuster Exam success! Learn how to succeed on the Insurance Adjuster Exam. Our Insurance Adjuster Guide helps you unlock the secret to success on the Insurance Claims Adjuster exam. We teach you the essential Insider Language that the top students and industry leaders know. Did you ever wonder why learning seems effortless for some people? We’ve discovered that the key to success on the Insurance Adjuster exam lies with mastering the Insider Language of the test. People who score high on the Insurance Adjuster test have a strong working vocabulary in the subject tested. They know how to decode the Insurance Adjuster vocabulary and use this as a model for test success. People with a strong Insurance Adjuster Insider Language consistently: • Perform better on the Insurance Industry Exams • Learn faster when in class and retain more information • Feel more confident on the job when dealing with clients and supervisors • Read faster and with more efficiency • Gain more satisfaction in learning The Insurance Adjuster Success Guide is different from traditional review books because it focuses on the insurance industry Insider Language. It is an outstanding supplement to a traditional review program. It helps your preparation for the Insurance Adjuster Exam become easier and more efficient. The strategies, puzzles, and questions give you enough exposure to the Insider Language to use it with confidence and make it part of your long-term memory. The Insurance Adjuster Success Guide is an awesome tool to use before the semester as it will help you develop a strong working Insider Language before you even enter the class. Learn the Secret to Success on the Insurance Adjuster Exam!
©2019 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.