Risk communication: Identifying the importance of social context

Alaszewski, A.M. (2005) Risk communication: Identifying the importance of social context. Health, Risk and Society, 7 (2). pp. 101-105. ISSN 1369-8575. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13698570500148905

Abstract

This editorial uses articles published in recent issues of Health, Risk and Society to critically review current approaches to risk communication. The effective communication of risk forms a key component of public health measures designed to improve the health of populations in countries such as the UK. These approaches assume that the recipients of the risk information are rational actors who will use the information to minimize their exposure to health hazards, and this will reduce the collective level of harm. However, a recent article in Health, Risk and Society indicated that individuals are not passive recipients of information and do not respond to risk information 'rationally'. Individuals actively engage in looking for and using information but may also make conscious decisions to avoid certain forms of information. Their response to information is shaped by social context, their own needs for personal security and the extent to which they trust the source of specific items of information. As a result, there is little evidence that risk communication based on the rational actor model shapes an understanding or behaviour in ways in which health-policy makers and public health experts want

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Paula Loader
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2008 13:30
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2010 14:18
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/4939 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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