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Book cover: Research in Social Problems and Public Policy

Research in Social Problems and Public Policy

ISSN: 0196-1152
Series editor(s): Professor Ted I. K. Youn.

Subject Area: Sociology and Public Policy

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Document request:
Power and Vulnerability: Contextualizing “Low Risk” Views of Environmental and Health Hazards


Document Information:
Title:Power and Vulnerability: Contextualizing “Low Risk” Views of Environmental and Health Hazards
Author(s):Christine Shearer, Jennifer Bea Rogers-Brown, Karl Bryant, Rachel Cranfill, Barbara Herr Harthorn
Volume:21 Editor(s): Susan Maret ISBN: 978-1-78190-734-4 eISBN: 978-1-78190-735-1
Citation:Christine Shearer, Jennifer Bea Rogers-Brown, Karl Bryant, Rachel Cranfill, Barbara Herr Harthorn (2013), Power and Vulnerability: Contextualizing “Low Risk” Views of Environmental and Health Hazards, in Susan Maret (ed.) William R. Freudenburg, A Life in Social Research (Research in Social Problems and Public Policy, Volume 21), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.235-257
DOI:10.1108/S0196-1152(2013)0000021015 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article type:Chapter Item
Abstract:Research has found a subgroup of conservative white males have lower perceptions of risk across a variety of environmental and health hazards. Less research has looked at the views of these “low risk” individuals in group interactions. Through qualitative analysis of a technology deliberation, we note that white men expressing low risk views regarding technologies for energy and the environment also often express high social risks around potential loss of control. We argue these risk perceptions reflect identification with corporate concerns, usually framed in opposition to government and mirroring arguments made by conservative organizations. We situate these views within the broader cultural struggle over who has the power to name and address risks.

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