The Social Contours of Risk Volume I: Publics, Risk Communication and the Social Amplification of Risk We live in a 'risk society' where the identification, distribution and management of risks, from new technology, environmental factors or other sources are crucial to our individual and social existence. In The Social Contours of Risk, Volumes I and II, two of the world's leading and most influential analysts of the social dimensions of risk bring together their most important contributions to this fundamental and wide-ranging field. Volume I collects their fundamental work on how risks are communicated among different publics and stakeholders, including local communities, corporations and the larger society. It analyses the problems of lack of transparency and trust, and explores how even minor effects can be amplified and distorted through media and social responses, preventing effective management.
The final section investigates the difficult ethical issues raised by the unequal distribution of risk depending on factors such as wealth, location and genetic inheritance - with examples from worker and public protection, facility-siting conflicts, transporting hazardous waste and widespread impacts such as climate change.
Jeanne X Kasperson was Research Associate Professor and Research Librarian and Roger E Kasperson is Research Professor and Distinguished Scientist also at Clark University, USA.