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Understanding Risk Communication: The Acceptability   of Risk Communication in a Multilingual Europe 	                    ...
Presentation Overview	•  Zahra Esmail- brief introduction	•  Project Overview: Understanding Risk   Communication 	•  Prev...
Zahra Esmail (M.A)	•  Born and raised in London, England 	•  German and Linguistics (B.A) (Queen Mary  University of Londo...
Understanding Risk Communication: The Acceptability of Risk Communication in a           Multilingual Europe 	•  The accep...
Risk Communication	Risk Communication aims to:	-  Enhance knowledge and understanding	-  Build trust and credibility 	-  E...
Risk Communication Research	•  Previously saw risk communication process   as one-way communication- receivers of   inform...
The need for further development of       Risk Communication 	                      How are such traditional              ...
Influences on risk perception	•  Culture (sub-culture) of the individual (Slovic,   Douglas and Wildavsky)	•  Gender differ...
The Socio-Cultural Influences on Risk          Perception (Model)	Hazard	                                        Family/   ...
Socio-cultural influences on risk perception: the linguistics of the             message 	Risk Communication culture/risk c...
Model: Risk Perception- an            Explanation	•  This model demonstrates: 	  •  The complexity of relation between var...
Why is this particularly important             today?	•  Multilingual societies are increasing, as  countries continue to ...
Why is this particularly important today?	•  Lack of knowledge on nuclear threats can  lead to unprepared society:	  •  Ma...
Further Research I	•  Linguistic influences on risk communication  process need to be highlighted 	•  The cultural aspect o...
Further Research II	•  Risk Communication must be further  developed as citizen oriented 	•  Research must include citizen...
Thank you for your    Attention!	            Zahra Esmail (M.A.)	      Bergische Universität Wuppertal	         esmail@uni...
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Understanding risk communication: the acceptability of risk communication in a multilingual Europe

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Zarah ESMAIL

Bergische Universität Wuppertal

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Understanding risk communication: the acceptability of risk communication in a multilingual Europe

  1. 1. Understanding Risk Communication: The Acceptability of Risk Communication in a Multilingual Europe Zahra Esmail Bergische Universität Wuppertal (Germany) IDRC Davos 2012
  2. 2. Presentation Overview •  Zahra Esmail- brief introduction •  Project Overview: Understanding Risk Communication •  Previous research on Risk Communication (perception) •  Why is Risk Communication development so Important? •  Future research needs
  3. 3. Zahra Esmail (M.A) •  Born and raised in London, England •  German and Linguistics (B.A) (Queen Mary University of London) •  Applied Linguistics (M.A) (TU Dortmund) •  Currently: research fellow and doctoral student at Bergische University Wuppertal
  4. 4. Understanding Risk Communication: The Acceptability of Risk Communication in a Multilingual Europe •  The acceptability of Risk Communication in Europe •  To raise the awareness of socio-linguistic factors as influences on Risk Communication process •  Suggestions for the further development of Risk Communication in light of a growing multilingual society •  Citizens better prepared for possible nuclear catastrophes
  5. 5. Risk Communication Risk Communication aims to: -  Enhance knowledge and understanding -  Build trust and credibility -  Encourage appropriate behaviors •  Communication on potential risks BEFORE the risk event occurs •  Typically: security official-citizen
  6. 6. Risk Communication Research •  Previously saw risk communication process as one-way communication- receivers of information in a more passive role •  Risks are actively perceived by the individual! •  Previous research has failed to include focus on social and cultural factors of risk perception •  Messages are to be understood within a sociocultural context!
  7. 7. The need for further development of Risk Communication How are such traditional forms of RC understood? e.g. “Threat” “human behaviour depends on perception, not on facts” (Renn)
  8. 8. Influences on risk perception •  Culture (sub-culture) of the individual (Slovic, Douglas and Wildavsky) •  Gender differences in the perception of risks (Gustafson) •  Language use (expert vs. layperson communicative means) (Covello) •  Means by which message is communicated (e.g. radio, television broadcast) and the trustworthyness of the source
  9. 9. The Socio-Cultural Influences on Risk Perception (Model) Hazard Family/ Risk specific Peers/ RC Culture beliefs and Community biases General Individual Characteristic s RC Context Risk Perception Individual/Mass Responses RC Message
  10. 10. Socio-cultural influences on risk perception: the linguistics of the message Risk Communication culture/risk communicationmessage: •  Expert vs Laypeople language (scientific language) •  Non verbal signals (75% of the message) •  Translations of risk communication •  Culture = the way that we think (messages are culture/context dependant)
  11. 11. Model: Risk Perception- an Explanation •  This model demonstrates: •  The complexity of relation between variables •  The several variables which act as influences on risk perception •  Risk perception leads to individual responses and ultimate risk reducing behavior •  The message itself (i.e. the linguistic components of the message) can affect perception
  12. 12. Why is this particularly important today? •  Multilingual societies are increasing, as countries continue to work closer together •  New levels of threats are emerging - the need for resilient societies is greater than ever •  New levels of threats require a greater collaboration effort between countries (transnational cooperation means a common understanding)
  13. 13. Why is this particularly important today? •  Lack of knowledge on nuclear threats can lead to unprepared society: •  Mass panic, hysteria, rioting, looting •  Spreading of unreliable information •  A well informed society= resilient society!
  14. 14. Further Research I •  Linguistic influences on risk communication process need to be highlighted •  The cultural aspect of perception must be taken into consideration •  Other possible influences such as political affiliations must be explored!
  15. 15. Further Research II •  Risk Communication must be further developed as citizen oriented •  Research must include citizen opinions and perceptions •  Subcultures in society (and their respective language uses) •  The inclusion of social media in RC?
  16. 16. Thank you for your Attention! Zahra Esmail (M.A.) Bergische Universität Wuppertal esmail@uni-wuppertal.de

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