Risk rituals?

Moore, Sarah E.H. and Burgess, Adam (2011) Risk rituals? Journal of Risk Research, 14 (1). pp. 111-124. ISSN 1366-9877. (doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/13669877.2010.505347) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13669877.2010.505347

Abstract

This article considers how risks are responded to through behavioral adaptations and avoidance strategies. We observe that such behavior can become totemistic and have a limited relationship to the risk it ostensibly answers to. Drawing upon examples such as recycling and original data from a study on drink-spiking avoidance, the article sets out a new concept for discussing and understanding such risk-related behavior: the 'risk ritual'. We elaborate upon this concept in the article, identifying a number of tendencies in risk rituals and drawing upon anthropological and sociological work on the nature and uses of ritual. We compare the 'risk ritual' to religious and community rituals, exploring the connections between the former and the rain dance, religious ablutions, abstinence from eating meat on a Friday, and rite of passage ceremonies. Influenced by the cultural approach to risk, we argue that risk rituals, like rituals more generally, are shaped by social conditions, currents, and processes, such as the emphasis on personal responsibility for risk management and the desire to mark out the 'sacred' and the 'profane'. The article concludes that ritualistic risk behavior is better viewed as functional rather than irrational. © 2011 Taylor &Francis.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: risk function, risk rationality, risk rituals, Behavioral adaptation, Personal responsibility, Risk behavior, Risk function, Social conditions, Risk analysis, Risk management, Behavioral research
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Mita Mondal
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2013 10:47 UTC
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2014 12:58 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/36538 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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