Risk and culture

Authored by: John Adams

Routledge Handbook of Risk Studies

Print publication date:  April  2016
Online publication date:  March  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138022867
eBook ISBN: 9781315776835
Adobe ISBN: 9781317691662

10.4324/9781315776835.ch7

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Abstract

Risk, most dictionaries agree, involves exposure to the possibility of loss or injury. 1 Perceptions of this possibility are embedded in culture and vary enormously over space and time. One frequently encounters the contention that it is important to distinguish between ‘real’, ‘actual’ and ‘objective’ risks and those that are merely ‘perceived’. But all risk is perceived. Risk is a word that refers to the future, and the future exists only in the imagination. And the imagination is a product of culture.

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