Since Mary Douglas and Aaron Wildavsky’s seminal work on risk and culture, risk is considered in social sciences and humanities as a cultural or social construct. According to this approach, risk perception, identification and management are connected and filtered by the specific cultures and social structures of the various actors in society. In other words, the mindset of individuals is structured by specific risk cultures which determine how dangers are perceived and how the response to risks and crisis is framed.
This special issue will present case studies that show the influence of the respective risk culture on actual social behaviour, coping strategies and information behaviour in cases of natural and/or man-made disaster and the implications for crisis communication. It is intended for academics, practitioners, social scientists and risk and crisis managers who are involved in the areas of risk and crisis communication, as well as risk and crisis management on the governmental and business level concerned with natural and man-made disasters.
The issue will carry revised and substantially extended versions of selected papers of the EU-funded project ‘Enhancing the Efficiency of Alerting Systems through Personalized, Culturally Sensitive Multi-Channel Communication (Opti-Alert) – Socio-Cultural Factors in Risk and Crisis Communication’, but we also strongly encourage researchers who did not participate in the project to submit papers for this issue.
Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
- Concepts of risk culture
- Impact of socio-cultural factors on risk perception
- National specificities and risk cultures
- Taking into account risk perception for risk and crisis management
- Influence of public trust in authority on crisis communication
- Case studies and lessons learned from previous disasters
- Role of press, mass media and social media for crisis communication
- The interrelationship between risk culture and compliance in cases of disaster
- Disaster knowledge and coping strategies
- Best practice in reaching the public via crisis communication
- Social learning of crisis and institutional responses
- Cultural patterns and crisis responses
Submission of manuscripts: 31 August, 2013 (extended)