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Faulty environments and risk reasoning : the local understanding of industrial hazards.

Irwin, A. and Simmons, P. and Walker, Gordon P. (1999) Faulty environments and risk reasoning : the local understanding of industrial hazards. Environment and Planning A, 31 (7). pp. 1311-1326. ISSN 0308-518X

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Abstract

Building upon a detailed empirical analysis of the local understanding of hazards in one geographical area, in this paper we offer a critique of both the psychometric and 'risk society' approaches to the relationship between lay and scientific groups. Specifically, we explore the connection between lay understandings of risk and the contexts of their development and application with regard to one industrial hazard site in northeast England. Rather than presenting local knowledges as fixed or separable from cultural practices and social worldviews, we examine the relational and active construction of environmental understandings -- noting the significance of such factors as local memory, observation and evidence, definitions of expertise, risk and credibility, and moral discourses. The paper concludes with a discussion of the relationship between knowledge, understanding, and context. We also consider the wider significance of this case study both for environmental policy and for more theoretical treatments of science and its publics.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Environment and Planning A
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Politics & International Relations (Merged into PPR 2010-08-01)
Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre
ID Code: 22080
Deposited By: ep_ss_importer
Deposited On: 18 Feb 2009 16:36
Refereed?: No
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 15:56
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/22080

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