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Discrimination, Vulnerability, and Justice in the Face of Risk

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Abstract

Recent research finds that perceived risk is closely associated with race and gender. In surveys of the American public a subset of white males stand out for their uniformly low perceptions of environmental health risks, while most nonwhite and nonmale respondents reveal higher perceived risk. Such findings have been attributed to the advantageous position of white males in American social life. This article explores the linked possibility that this demographic pattern is driven not simply by the social advantages or disadvantages embodied in race or gender, but by the subjective experience of vulnerability and by sociopolitical evaluations pertaining to environmental injustice. Indices of environmental injustice and social vulnerability were developed as part of a U.S. National Risk Survey (n= 1,192) in order to examine their effect on perceived risk. It was found that those who regarded themselves as vulnerable and supported belief statements consistent with the environmental justice thesis offered higher risk ratings across a range of hazards. Multivariate analysis indicates that our measures of vulnerability and environmental injustice predict perceived risk but do not account for all of the effects of race and gender. The article closes with a discussion of the implications of these findings for further work on vulnerability and risk, risk communication, and risk management practices generally.

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... For example, Flynn et al. (1994) explain that Whites, especially White men, have benefited the most from the sociopolitical system in the USA, and therefore see a variety of dangers as less risky than do other demographic groups. Indeed, evidence shows that ethnic/ racial differences in concern about environmental hazards are partially accounted for by differences in perceived vulnerability to and awareness of environmental hazards (Satterfield et al. 2004). Similarly, environmental deprivation theory proposes that ethnic/racial differences in environmental concern are driven by differential exposure to environmental hazards such as pollution (e.g., Whittaker et al. 2005). ...
... Accordingly, as proposed by environmental deprivation theory, we explore indicators of environmental vulnerability and personal experience, such as exposure to environmental hazards or extreme weather (Whittaker et al. 2005). Because racial and ethnic minorities in the USA, including Latinos, are more likely than non-Latino Whites to experience environmental threats (e.g., air pollution; Clark et al. 2014), differential exposure to environmental factors may help explain why Latinos have higher climate change risk perceptions than non-Latino Whites (Pearson et al. 2017;Satterfield et al. 2004). Thus, we expect that self-reported exposure to environmental threats, including past experience of and harm from environmental hazards (e.g., heat waves, drought, air pollution), the frequency of working outdoors, and engaging in outdoor leisure activities, will predict climate change risk perceptions. ...
... Importantly, although egalitarianism was a top predictor for both groups, it was significantly stronger for Latinos. One explanation for this is that Latinos may be more likely to see global warming as an environmental justice issue (e.g., Satterfield et al. 2004) that concerns the welfare of others or an issue of social justice. Further research is needed in order to explore this explanation. ...
Article
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Global warming will disproportionately affect people of color (e.g., Latinos). Previous research has found that Latinos in the USA are more engaged with global warming than are non-Latino Whites, in part, because they are more likely to perceive it as a serious risk. It was unclear, however, what factors most strongly explain Latinos’ elevated perceptions of risk. This study uses two parallel, nationally representative surveys of Latino and non-Latino White Americans to investigate these different levels of risk perception. Mediation analyses indicate that Latinos’ greater risk perceptions may be explained by (in order of magnitude) their stronger pro-climate injunctive social norms and egalitarian worldviews, stronger identification with the Democratic party, more frequent communication with family outside the USA, greater harm from environmental hazards, stronger descriptive norms, and a weaker individualist worldview. These findings help inform strategies for communicating with different subgroups of Americans that have different global warming risk perceptions.
... In turn, increased exposure to environmental hazards may lead to elevated concern among communities of color (Whittaker et al., 2005). Research also shows that people of color in the U.S. perceive heightened vulnerability to environmental threats like climate change due, in part, to awareness of their disadvantaged position in society (Flynn et al., 1994;Satterfield et al., 2004). In short, due to systemic inequality and a history of racism, communities of color face a "double jeopardy" in environmental risk, experiencing both greater exposure to environmental hazards and extreme weather, as well as greater vulnerability to that exposure (e.g., Miranda et al., 2011;Shonkoff et al., 2011;Tessum et al., 2019). ...
... One notable exception was perceptions of personal harm: across the political spectrum, people of color were more likely than Whites to report that global warming poses a danger to themselves. This supports previous research that being a member of a historically underserved or disadvantaged group (specifically a community of color) contributes, at least in part, to increased perceptions of vulnerability to environmental problems (Satterfield et al., 2004;Whittaker et al., 2005). ...
... Further, when controlling for political ideology or partisanship, racial/ethnic differences in opinion tended to decrease in size, particularly comparing Whites and African Americans. At the same time, we find that controlling for political orientation does not entirely eliminate opinion differences across racial/ethnic groups, highlighting a need for additional research into the non-partisan, cultural roots of climate change opinion in the U.S. (e.g., racial/ethnic differences in perceived and experienced vulnerability, and personal experience with environmental problems and injustices; Mohai et al., 2009;Satterfield et al., 2004). ...
Article
National polls reveal stark and growing political divisions on the issue of climate change within the United States. However, few studies have explored whether these trends generalize to communities of color, who experience disproportionate environmental risks. Synthesizing over a decade of nationally representative survey data (2008–2019; N = 23,707), we conduct a conceptual replication and extension of previous research on the “racial/ethnic gap” in U.S. climate change opinion. Consistent with prior work, we find that African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos. show less political polarization—including both weaker ideological and partisan divides—across a diverse range of belief, risk perception, and policy-support measures. Further, we find that this differential polarization has remained largely stable over time and is robust to effects of other sociodemographic variables, such as education and income. Notably, across the political spectrum, people of color were more likely to report that global warming poses a danger to themselves. Racial/ethnic differences were generally more pronounced among the political Right than the political Left, are generally larger for beliefs and risk perceptions (vs. policy support) and are only partially accounted for by racial/ethnic differences in ideology or party sorting. These results offer comprehensive evidence that climate change is less polarized among people of color in the U.S. Increasing cultural diversity in the environmental sector and conducting more research on cultural differences in environmental responses (including other racial/ethnic groups such as indigenous populations) are both important to promoting equity in decision-making, addressing environmental disparities, and potentially bridging political divides in the U.S.
... Studies which focused on large numbers of risks tended to include both involuntary and voluntary risks and often merged some risks to form broader constructs [5,13,35]; and [14]. Flynn et al. [14]; for example, combined storms and floods, while Olofsson and Rashid [13] and Satterfield et al. [35] included 'natural disasters' as one risk. ...
... Studies which focused on large numbers of risks tended to include both involuntary and voluntary risks and often merged some risks to form broader constructs [5,13,35]; and [14]. Flynn et al. [14]; for example, combined storms and floods, while Olofsson and Rashid [13] and Satterfield et al. [35] included 'natural disasters' as one risk. By exploring a wide range of risks, these studies were able to present risk perception patterns based on gender [5,13,35]; and [14]. ...
... Flynn et al. [14]; for example, combined storms and floods, while Olofsson and Rashid [13] and Satterfield et al. [35] included 'natural disasters' as one risk. By exploring a wide range of risks, these studies were able to present risk perception patterns based on gender [5,13,35]; and [14]. The Finucane et al. [5] analysis of 19 health risks and eight food-related risks showed that for the entire range of risks white males generally perceived less risk than females and other races, which echoed the findings of Flynn et al. [14]. ...
Article
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This study examined the influence of gender on individual risk perception. The analysis covered 17 involuntary risks and examined the effects of gender on three dimensions-likelihood, impact and overall risk rating. The results showed that while the magnitude and significance of the gender coefficients varied by risk, a general pattern was apparent: females judged involuntary risks as being more likely, having a greater impact, or having a higher overall risk rating than their male counterparts. The impact rating for Fire was the one significant exception to this pattern. These findings highlight how the composition of National Risk Assessment (NRA) focus groups may impact the outputs from Ireland's NRA process and the importance of EU Member States ensuring gender representation within NRA focus groups.
... Trait anxiety -neuroticism -is traditionally seen as a mechanism triggering risk aversion. 1 The perceived vulnerability theses (see Satterfield, Mertz, and Slovic 2004) state that processes of social learning lead women, to a higher degree than men, to incorporate neuroticism as a facet of personality. The causal links between vulnerability, anxiety/ neuroticism, and risk aversion are, however, not totally clear, and in this article we delve into the question of how to explain gender gaps in anxiety. ...
... This study is rooted in the perceived vulnerability thesis, which says that women are more anxious than men about risks and threats because they generally feel more vulnerable in society (cf. Satterfield, Mertz, and Slovic 2004). Anxiety can be triggered by a variety of cues that the individual does not always recognize, and a full understanding of this phenomenon needs to take into consideration that these emotions may stem from multiple sources, such as socially constructed images of gender and also physical attributes. ...
... The response alternatives ranged, like the SAI, from 1 ("not at all worried") to 4 ("very worried"). The items involve negative conditions that are common enough to be relevant to most individuals but specific enough to target different dimensions of negative circumstances (see Satterfield, Mertz, and Slovic 2004). The additive index was constructed by adding the individual's scores, and we included only the respondents who answered a minimum of four of five questions. ...
Article
Concepts such as risk aversion and anxiety have received renewed attention in various strands of gender and politics research. Most contemporary scholars suggest that gender gaps in this area are related to social norms and stem from social learning rather than from inherent gender traits. Very few, however, elaborate on the gender variable to reach a fuller understanding of the dynamics at work. In this study, we examined gender gaps in levels of anxiety, an area closely related to risk aversion, and we applied a combination of categorical measures of gender distinguishing between “woman, “man,” and “other” and scales capturing grades of femininity and masculinity in individuals. We label this approach fuzzy gender , and we suggest that it can be used to advance research in our field. The key finding is an interaction effect between categorical measures of gender and fuzzy gender: The more female characteristics in women, the higher the levels of anxiety. Moreover, there is no difference in levels of anxiety between men and women with few female characteristics. The data used draw from a large-scale survey among Swedish citizens in 2013.
... Apart from worldviews and values, perceived vulnerability is likely to shape public perceptions about global warming risks (Bord & O'Connor, 1997;Satterfield, Mertz, & Slovic, 2004). Perceived vulnerability can be defined as heightened sensitivity to risks (Bord & O'Connor, 1997) and is shaped by previous direct or vicarious experiences to risks as well as socioeconomic factors (Satterfield et al., 2004). ...
... Apart from worldviews and values, perceived vulnerability is likely to shape public perceptions about global warming risks (Bord & O'Connor, 1997;Satterfield, Mertz, & Slovic, 2004). Perceived vulnerability can be defined as heightened sensitivity to risks (Bord & O'Connor, 1997) and is shaped by previous direct or vicarious experiences to risks as well as socioeconomic factors (Satterfield et al., 2004). For example, Bord and O'Connor (1997) argued that the persistent gender gap in environmental concern, with women showing higher concern than men, is an artifact of perceived vulnerability, not necessarily a result of differences in ecological values. ...
... Further, physical vulnerability, measured as proximity to coastline, is positively correlated with climate change risk perceptions in the United States (Brody et al., 2008), perhaps due to sea-level rise, a prominent image in the American mind about climate change. Nevertheless, few studies evaluating risk perceptions have focused explicitly on the relationship between perceived vulnerability and risk perceptions (Satterfield et al., 2004). ...
Article
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Few studies have focused on global warming risk perceptions among people in poor and developing countries, who are disproportionately impacted by climate change. This analysis conducts a comprehensive assessment of global warming risk perceptions in India using a national sample survey. Consistent with cultural theory, egalitarianism was positively associated with global warming risk perceptions. In addition, perceived vulnerability and resilience to extreme weather events were also two of the strongest factors associated with global warming risk perceptions. While worry was positively associated with risk perceptions, it accounted for only a small proportion of the variance, unlike studies in developed countries. Finally, the study also collected global warming affective images. The most common responses were “don't know” or “can't say” (25%), followed by “pollution” (21%), “heat” (20%), and “nature” (16%). The study finds that the predictors of global warming risk perceptions among the Indian public are both similar and different than those in developed countries, which has important implications for climate change communication in India.
... Last, differences in political and group loyalties are a powerful predictor of perceived risk (Kahan 2010) as is the demographic profile of the perceiver, which can be explained by world views (Flynn et al. 1994). High income earning and highly educated white males perceive most hazards as less risky than do all other socioeconomic groups, but much of that gender and racial difference in perception can be explained by support for egalitarian versus hierarchical social systems (Finucane et al. 2000) and by perceptions of vulnerability and justice (Satterfield et al. 2004). ...
... Most of this demographic effect is explained in these earlier papers by political world views (white males who believe in authoritarian decision making and are politically conservative are particularly risk tolerant; Flynn et al. 1994, Finucane et al. 2000. Similarly, race and gender findings are also explained by men and women who regard themselves as vulnerable and/or who believe in the existence of environmental injustices (Satterfield et al. 2004). ...
Article
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Social-ecological-systems (SES) scholars have called for increased elaboration of the social dimensions of natural systems. Although a strong body of research explaining adaptive or maladaptive resource use exists, the integration of knowledge related to values, perceptions, and behaviors is less developed. Perceptions are particularly useful when one seeks a broad-scale view of the judgments that people implicitly or more automatically make in relation to nature and/or how people might rapidly and intuitively interpret the meaning of ecological status and change. Environmental perceptions are also distinct from the longer tradition of direct elicitation of environmental values as related to reported environmental behavior; and from understanding of perceived environmental health risks. Empirically, we thus explore what an architecture of environmental perceptions might be. Our goal is to advance an SES-relevant focus on the qualities that people intuitively assign to air, water, and soil in general and in particular. Initial qualities were first developed using mental model interview responses, which were then converted to psychometric rating scales administered across two surveys: an initial pilot survey and a large-scale follow up survey. In the pilot study, four factors - resilience, tangibility, complexity and sensory - emerged as primary (n = 697). In our large-scale follow up (U.S. nationally representative sample, n = 2500) we retested the two strongest factors (tangibility and resilience) within specific ecotypes or contexts (forests, rivers, oceans, deserts, urban, and rural). Resilience emerged a particularly powerful component of environmental risk perception, a factor comprising four attributes: recovers easily from human impacts, self-cleaning with time, mostly pure, and easy to control. Results suggest a greater mandate for explicit understandings of the intuitive foundations of perceived environmental risk as might explain environments we regard as vulnerable or resilient, healthy or not.
... Recent studies have suggested that males generally tend to have lower perceptions of risks relative to females (Satterfield et al. 2004;Finucane et al. 2000). According to Finucane et al. (2000), males scored lower on risk perception relative to women because they are most likely to be actively involved in creating, managing, controlling and benefiting from technologies producing most of the risks. ...
... However, we observed a number of interaction effects, for example, sex and residence on awareness of environmental consequences; sex and income on perceptions of risk to the environment; and age and residence on awareness of environmental consequences; residence and education on personal norms of environmentalism (see Appendix 3). The result seems to be inconsistent with previous researches as reported by Satterfield et al. (2004). Of course, the extent and the nature of variation will have broadened implication for policy makers. ...
Book
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This research was conducted to examine values, risk perceptions and thecorresponding adaptation options among the communities of the three selectedadministrative zones in Tigray Regional State. The study provides an insight thatthe urban group was more concerned about environmental issues than the ruralgroups. We identified five distinctive values with the highest loading factor beingthe altruistic value cluster. The result is inconsistent with previous researches (forexample; Schwartz & Bardi 2001; Schwartz et al. 2001; De Groot & Steg 2007c). Thevariations of the pattern of this result, however, seem to be attributed to the outcomeof differences in the contextual relevance of items, and other attributes of society.The analysis shows that the two groups have different perceptions of the nature ofenvironmental risks they faced. For example, the rural villagers were more concernedabout drought and its related risks to human health, while the urban group thoughtof lifestyle-related risks such as safe drinking water shortage and global warming.This result is confirmed by the work of Duan (2005). We were unable to findsignificant negative correlations between egoistic values and risk perception, aswell as between personal norms and awareness of environmental consequences,different from what we had expected. The results also show that the five distinctive value orientations and demographic variables interact with one another to influencerisk perception, personal norms and awareness of environment consequences. Wealso reported that the local communities make detailed observations ofenvironmental changes, suggesting a wide spectrum of adaptation mechanismssuch as nurturing plant and animal diversity; adaptation through diversified landuse; and adaptation measures rooted in social networks and customary institutionsamong other things. Taken together, the indigenous/social adaptation process ofthe local community is partly a function of gender. Observational experiences andsocial status are some other factors of note.
... We hypothesized that relative to Whites and higher-SES groups, the construal of environmental issues by members of minority and lower-SES groups would encompass a broader range of issues. Moreover, we explored whether such differences would be driven, in part, by recognition of group disparities in environmental harms (i.e., environmental justice perceptions; Satterfield, Mertz, & Slovic, 2004). ...
... Education was recoded to approximate total years of formal education; employment status was dummy-coded as employed or unemployed. Finally, we measured environmental justice perceptions using a four-item scale by Satterfield et al. (2004) (e.g., "The government should restrict the placing of hazardous facilities in minority communities"; α = 0.874). ...
Article
Racial/ethnic minorities and lower-socioeconomic (SES) groups in the U.S. face disproportionate environmental risks, which may hold implications for how these groups construe environmental issues, relative to other segments of the public. We explored this possibility with a diverse sample of 1191 U.S. adults, hypothesizing that, relative to White and higher-SES respondents, non-White and lower-SES respondents would rate a greater number of pressing societal issues as also “environmental.” Across 18 issues, ranging from ecological issues more traditionally the focus of environmental advocacy and scholarship (e.g., pollution; eco-oriented issues) to issues that also constitute human social determinants and consequences of environmental risk (e.g., poverty; human-oriented issues), non-White and lower-income respondents rated human-oriented issues as more “environmental.” Environmental justice perceptions partially mediated group differences in issue conceptualization. Results hold implications for the measurement of environmental attitudes and efforts to broaden public engagement within racially and economically diverse communities.
... For example, they are more likely to dismiss that climate change is happening, is humancaused, and is a serious threat, and less likely to understand the scientific consensus on the issue and to worry about climate change (Leiserowitz, 2005;Dunlap, 2011b,2013). This work builds on earlier research on the "white male effect" (e.g., Finucane et al., 2000;Flynn et al., 1994;Satterfield et al., 2004), finding that white males with conservative ideologies are particularly likely to diverge from other (non-conservative) white men and all others in the American public Dunlap, 2011b,2013). ...
... Because the potential social response to climate change poses threats "to the industrial capitalist economic system, it should not be surprising that conservative white males' strong system-justifying attitudes would be triggered to deny climate change" Dunlap, 2011b, p. 1171). Further, compared to racial/ethnic minorities, white individuals are generally less vulnerable to environmental hazards (e.g., Clark et al., 2014) and, according to perspectives on environmental vulnerability, thus may be less likely to perceive environmental threats as a risk and to support environmental policy change (Satterfield et al., 2004;Whittaker et al., 2005; see also Ballew et al., 2019b;Pearson et al., 2017). Together, these theoretical perspectives and findings suggest that economic resources (e.g., income) might be a factor in enhanced political polarization and resistance to climate change mitigation policies; such processes may reflect a motivation to protect the resources of politically and economically advantaged groups, including conservative white males. ...
Article
Previous research documents that U.S. conservatives, and conservative white males in particular, tend to dismiss the threat of climate change more than others in the U.S. public. Other research indicates that higher education and income can each exacerbate the dismissive tendencies of the political Right. Bridging these lines of research, the present study examines the extent to which higher education and/or income moderate the ideological divide and the “conservative white male effect” on several climate change opinions, and whether these effects are mediated by an individualistic worldview (e.g., valuing individual liberty and limited government). Using nationally representative survey data of U.S. adults from 2008 to 2017 (N = 20,024), we find that across all beliefs, risk perceptions, and policy preferences examined, the ideological divide strengthens with both higher education and higher income. However, educational attainment plays a stronger role than income in polarizing the views of conservative white males. Further analyses support the hypothesis that differences in individualism partially explain the increased political polarization among more educated and higher-income adults, as well as greater dismissiveness among conservative white males relative to other demographic groups. These results highlight key moderators of opinion polarization, as well as ideological differences among conservatives, that are often overlooked in public discourse about climate change. Implications for climate change education and communication across demographic groups are considered.
... Researchers show a racial and ethnic gap in concerns about climate change; people of color in the United States are more likely to express higher levels of concern about global warming than are their non-Hispanic White (referred to as Anglo in the southwestern USA) counterparts (McCright and Dunlap, 2011;McCright, 2010;Malka et al., 2009;Kahan et al., 2007;Satterfield et al., 2004). Compared to Anglo individuals, Blacks and Latinos express greater support for international and national climate policies (Pearson et al., 2017). ...
... Importantly, race and ethnicity are significant (McCright and Dunlap, 2011;McCright, 2010;Malka et al., 2009;Kahan et al., 2007;Satterfield et al., 2004), and similarly we observe that non-Hispanic White individuals are less likely believe that climate change and global warming is occurring. Critically, this illuminates the need to consider justice in the context of climate change beliefs, especially as urban planning and infrastructure in the Phoenix Metro Area are inadequate to address the needs of the vulnerable. ...
Article
Beliefs in climate change are influenced by personal experiences and sociodemographic characteristics; yet justice considerations are often overlooked. We unveil the influence of these factors' on climate change beliefs in a large American city facing substantial climate change impacts, Phoenix, Arizona. Using the Phoenix Area Social Survey that includes data collected from (n = 806) households across fourteen cities in the Phoenix metropolitan area, we investigate what factors influence a belief that “global warming and climate change are already occurring.” Engaging adaptive capacity and justice literatures with climate belief models, we find that belief in climate change and global warming is positively associated with race specifically other than non-Hispanic Whites, high levels of education, personal experience with heat-related illnesses, and liberal beliefs. Widespread agreement about climate change is found within the scientific community, but general populations, especially in the USA, lag behind in accepting climate change. Critically, there are important justice dimensions absent in the existing literature relevant to understanding belief in and the impacts of climate change. Unpacking these factors could help inform policy makers and civil society organizations in their efforts to design more “just adaptation” strategies.
... Namely, vulnerability rarely has a single cause, and often results from an interplay of political, economic, sociocultural, environmental, historical, and ideological factors. This insight aligns with earlier work that describes vulnerability as a multidimensional phenomenon spurred by associated forms of social exclusion, discrimination, and marginalization (Leonard 1984;Razaak 2009;Satterfield et al. 2004). This literature defines social exclusion as a process whereby individuals, groups, or communities are cut off from community networks and activities due to the range of risk factors that they experience (Duchak 2010). ...
... That is, a vulnerable individual is one who is at greater risk of a negative outcome due to an intrinsic, contextual, or structural risk factor that they face. This definition of vulnerability as susceptibility to negative outcomes, aligns with the social-psychological framing of discrimination, which entails perceived personal fragility, perceived economic insecurity, and/or physical risk (Satterfield et al. 2004). In this view, discrimination is a dimension of vulnerability as well as marginalization. ...
Technical Report
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The goal of this report is to appraise the youth development field’s understanding of youth vulnerability; its measurement; best practices to address it as well as marginalization; and understand the effectiveness of positive youth development (PYD) programs in addressing it among youth in LMICs. The review was guided by nine research questions. The research team assessed relevant peer-reviewed and grey literature of youth between the ages of 15-24 years. Guided by PRISMA guidelines for systematic reviews, the research team devised an appropriate strategy to search bibliographic databases and conducted a purposive search of the collections maintained by international development organizations and donors. We identified a total of 118 peer-reviewed or grey literature publications (from an initial citation list of 24,373) that met the criteria for inclusion. In addition to the literature search, the research team conducted key informant interviews (KIIs) and a youth focus group discussion (FGD) to understand emerging gaps and further contextualize our findings.
... The authors argued that men, especially whites, have a lower risk perception because they have greater power and control of resources within society while women are systematically in lower decision power positions. Women (like other minorities) are potentially more vulnerable because they have less control over the events of their lives and have more probability of experiencing discrimination and economic and physical disadvantage; inequality leads women to see the world as more dangerous, and consequently, they have higher risk perception than men (Finucane et al., 2000;Mueller & Mullenbach, 2018;Olofsson & Rashid, 2011;Satterfield et al., 2004). According to this perspective, the white male effect is tied to the social privilege of determined sociodemographic groups. ...
... As mentioned in the introduction, several theories tried to explain gender differences in risk perception. The vulnerability hypothesis (Finucane et al., 2000;Flynn et al., 1994;Satterfield et al., 2004) posits that women (as well as other minorities) face more difficulties in coping with disasters or accidents due to their disadvantaged position in society. The European Journal of Health Psychology (2021) Ó 2021 Hogrefe Publishing experience of lacking resources and low power in facing negative events shape their perception of risk. ...
Article
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic may have a different impact on men and women. Aim: This study aimed to investigate gender differences in risk perception, attitudes toward quarantine measures, and adoption of precautionary behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Method: We employed a cross-sectional web-based survey design. The sample included 1,569 people living in Italy. The survey was conducted during the national lockdown in April 2020 when the Italian government extended the quarantine measures to the whole country. Results: Results showed that women reported higher scores on perceived severity, worry, precautionary behaviors, and attitudes toward quarantine restrictions. Gender differences in the perceived likelihood of infection with SARS-CoV-2 were not significant. Using mediation analysis, we found that the relationship between gender and precautionary behaviors was explained by attitudes toward quarantine restrictions, perceived severity, and worry. Limitations: The use of a cross-sectional design precludes causal inference. Conclusion: Our results point to the need to develop and implement interventions that address (1) the higher levels of risk perception of the COVID-19 outbreak among women and (2) the lower scores on risk perception, attitudes toward quarantine restrictions, and adoption of precautionary behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic among men.
... Recent studies have suggested that males generally tend to have lower perceptions of risks relative to females (Satterfield et al. 2004;Finucane et al. 2000). According to Finucane et al. (2000), males scored lower on risk perception relative to women because they are most likely to be actively involved in creating, managing, controlling and benefiting from technologies producing most of the risks. ...
... However, we observed a number of interaction effects, for example, sex and residence on awareness of environmental consequences; sex and income on perceptions of risk to the environment; and age and residence on awareness of environmental consequences; residence and education on personal norms of environmentalism (see Appendix 3). The result seems to be inconsistent with previous researches as reported by Satterfield et al. (2004). Of course, the extent and the nature of variation will have broadened implication for policy makers. ...
Book
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Back cover of the monograph: This monograph, in which the literature is extended in some important ways, is the first of its kind where environmental values and risk perceptions can play significant roles for contributions of policy interventions. The environmental values system varies from individual to individual and between groups of individuals. In this regard, environmental policy measures could be improved if the widely held environmental values are acknowledged and admitted into the process of policy analysis and refection. The work captures attention to the predictive powers of specific elements of environmental values as a useful supplement to acknowledge risk perceptions (risks to environment and risks to human health) and awareness of environmental consequences. Furthermore; it is also useful to look at the variation of environmental values and indigenous adaptive mechanisms in its constituent elements in terms of gender and residence. Finally, future research should address how environmental protection measures trigger different reactions among different groups of population and the differential roles that rural and urban community seem to play when designing environmental policy interventions for the particular Ethiopian context.
... To understand whether such adaptation is likely to be successful, it is important to assess both the level of understanding of heat related stress and the adaptive capacity of individuals and households (Ford, Smit & Wandel, 2006;Keys, Bussey, Thomsen, Lynam & Smith, 2014). Adapting to heat through reactive measures and preparing for long-term climate change requires a certain level of awareness amongst residents and an understanding of current and likely future vulnerabilities (Satterfield, Mertz & Slovic, 2004;Weber, 2006). Many studies have shown that those aware of rising temperatures are better prepared to cope with them (Das, 2016). ...
... People not aware of increasing heat had no reason to have mentioned that they make deliberate additional adaptations, other than those they already did to cope with heat. Awareness is one of the main drivers for adaptation (Das, 2016;Satterfield et al., 2004;Weber, 2006) and if people are not aware of increasing heat, they might not change their behaviours, for example doing simple things such as drinking more water, which can leave them more vulnerable to heat stress related impacts. Indeed, previous research has identified that people overestimate their capacity to cope with heat and that this impedes adaptation (Abrahamson, Wolf, Lorenzoni, Fenn & Kovats, 2009). ...
Article
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Average global temperatures and frequencies of heat waves are increasing with detrimental effects on health and wellbeing. This study presents a case study from two cities in the Northern Territory with the aim of exploring if and how people make deliberate adaptations to cope with increasing heat. Results show that 37% of all respondents made adjustments, with the most common being increased use of airconditioning (65% of those responding to heat), followed by staying inside more often (22%) and passive cooling through modifications of house and garden (17%). Young people increasingly refrain from outside activities as temperatures increase. We also found that adaptive capacity was a function of education, long-term residency, home ownership and peo-ple's self-rated wellbeing. Homeowners were more likely to adjust their living environment to the heat and renters less so. Being a property owner was commonly associated with the installation of solar panels to pay for high energy bills needed to run airconditioning. Those who had solar panels at home were about ten times more likely to use airconditioning more frequently in response to increasing heat. Our results confirm a growing dependence on artificially controlled environments to cope with heat in cities.
... The discussion of environmental justice (EJ) dates back to the 1980s [1][2][3], with many studies concluding that disadvantaged groups throughout the country suffer from having a disproportionate share of municipal solid waste treatment facilities (MSWTFs) within their proximity [4][5][6]. Since the 1980s, researchers have been finding that certain racial and ethnic groups are being disproportionately targeted with respect to the location of MSWTFs and determining the extent to which this is occurring [7][8][9]. Since then, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has focused on this issue and has provided the following official definition of EJ: No one of any race, culture, income or education level should be forced to bear a disproportionate share of exposure to the negative [28] Hazardous waste sites in Atlanta, Georgia, US 2 miles High-and low-income neighborhoods ...
Article
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Environmental justice (EJ) has become an increasingly significant issue for environmental management and has thus attracted increasing government and public attention. Although some studies have used techniques of proximity based on geographical information systems to assess EJ, their research is limited to individual or household data. Unlike the conventional hedonic price model (HPM) examining the effects of environmental features on housing rent, this article incorporates counterfactual decomposition into the HPM to estimate the environmental pressure on different groups by comparing the externality effects of municipal solid waste treatment facilities (MSWTFs) on two separate groups of people. To explore whether and, if so, the extent to which, vulnerable groups of people are restricted to disproportionate impacts of hazardous environmental facilities, this research uses Shanghai as the study area to highlight specific locations and exemplify the environmental injustice between the rich and the poor. The results, which represent the relationship between environmental quality and property prices, indicate that environmental quality is a robust predictor of housing rent. Simultaneously, the results suggest that some people conform better to environmental pressure than do others. Thus, the environmental impact of MSWTFs on different populations should be considered, and compensation policies should be implemented for disadvantaged groups.
... Such a deliberative process is also insurance of sorts, both by making more clear what preferences are and by creating the opportunity for greater buy-in of the outcomes and decision-making process, even if not all stakeholders agree with the outcome. As a large body of literature on risk perceptions illustrates, access to decision-making and perceptions of the accountability of decision-makers can help address some of the major contributors to increased perception of risk, such as lack of familiarity with an issue and perceived lack of control or choice over options to avoid or alleviate a risk Kasperson, 1986;Satterfield, Mertz, & Slovic, 2004;Slovic, 1997;. From a practical perspective, then, public deliberation can alleviate future inefficiencies and costs-whether in the market sense or otherwise-by providing more comprehensive assessments that incorporate public perceptions (Weimer & Vining, 2011) as well as offering an outlet for people to feel greater control over the decision-making process, familiarity with the uncertainty or risk, and trust in producers and managers of that risk (Kasperson, 1986;Sclove, 1982). ...
Thesis
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The concept deference to scientific authority captures how beliefs about science as authoritative knowledge can become a type of authoritarianism, with more deferent people believing that scientists, and not citizens, have authority in decision-making concerning scientific issues-even when those issues concern societal and moral questions beyond what science can answer. Because democratic deliberation depends on citizens willingly participating and accepting others' viewpoints as legitimate, deference to the point of authoritarianism can disable such deliberation on how we want to use science and technology in society. Few studies examine deference to scientific authority, however, and large gaps exist in our understanding of the concept's core theoretical features. These include how deference compares to trust in scientists and the cultural authority of science and limit our ability to capture deference and its implications for science communication and decision-making. This dissertation provides the first empirical look at those gaps by focusing on three main questions: 1) what is the scope of deference-does it predict anti-democratic views even in decision-making on science's societal implications? 2) what does it mean "to defer"-respect for expertise or authoritarianism? 3) where does deference come from-what makes some people more likely to defer to scientific authority? Examining this last question involves the first look at how deference relates to broader beliefs in science as an authoritative way of knowing the world and builds on work on the cultural authority of science. Results indicate that existing deference to scientific authority items do predict anti-democratic views on decision-making on science's societal impacts and relate to a narrow, idealized view of "science." Deference, therefore, is distinct from trust in scientists and also from just believing that science is authoritative knowledge. Existing deference items, however, suffer from validity and reliability issues. This work ends with a proposed model for capturing more complete pictures of deference. It ends with discussion on how we can research what the optimal level of deference to scientific authority is across different decision-making contexts-from scientific questions to normative questions-and better understand its implications for how we use scientific information and applications in society. ii
... Natural disasters are both physical and social events that touch on preexisting strata of vulnerability that affect how individuals and communities prepare, mitigate, respond, and recover (Cutter et al. 2003;Thomas et al. 2010). The social environment can mediate inequality (for example, distrust, poverty, and social-political disempowerment) which in turn can increase certain social groups' susceptibility (exposure), sensitivity (impact), and ineffectiveness in mitigation strategies (Finucane et al. 2000;Satterfield et al. 2004;Olofsson and Öhman 2015). Lemyre et al. (2009) refer these social groups as "higher risk" (rather than "vulnerable") to represent how the social environment contributes to gradients in how individuals experience risks and preparedness. ...
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As part of our broader research agenda on the psychology of risk communication and of risk management, we use a socio-ecological approach, inspired by Bronfenbrenner (Am Psychol 32:513–531, 1977. 10.1037/0003-066x.32.7.513), to better understand how Canadians perceive and prepare for risks originating from natural disasters. In this article, we present three empirical mixed-method studies as layers of analysis—a national survey, a social-spatial multi-level analysis, and a series of qualitative interviews—to bring a better understanding of how to engage Canadians in disaster preparedness and risk management. From our data, we examined how individuals perceived and understood natural disaster risks in Canada and how these fit in their social and life contexts. Given the increasingly diverse Canadian population, we used a cultural lens to contrast immigrants to Canadian-born individuals. After introducing the conceptual background and presenting our empirical studies, we conclude with a discussion on the implications for risk communication and management for natural disasters. Our findings suggest that Canadians could benefit from culturally targeted disaster risk reduction strategies that engage individuals–communities–government at all levels and are more attuned to the realities and specificities of life stressors.
... Risk theory has established a number of factors that predict fear among the general public. This research has established that risks that are unfamiliar, unnatural, not freely chosen, or perceived as unfair or uncontrollable are likely to be associated with heightened risk perceptions (Beck, 1999;Rogers, Amlot, Rubin, Wessely, & Krieger, 2007;Satterfield, Mertz, & Slovic, 2004). Furthermore "dread risks"i.e., low-probability, high-impact events that are perceived to have catastrophic potential-are also associated with particularly high levels of concern (Gigerenzer, 2006;Slovic, Fischhoff, & Lichtenstein, 1981). ...
Article
Ongoing targeting of mass transit networks and the challenges associated with policing these large open systems means that encouraging public vigilance and reporting on railways is a counter-terrorism priority. There is, however, surprisingly little research on motivations and barriers to cooperating with the police in this context. This paper contributes to this under-researched field by presenting the findings of a survey experiment which examined (1) the role of uncertainty as a barrier for reporting suspicious behaviour on rail networks, (2) whether drivers for cooperation established in the context of traditional crime hold for reporting suspicious behaviour at train stations, and (3) whether the UK ‘See it. Say it. Sorted’ campaign is effective in encouraging reporting. Data was collected in the UK and Denmark, national contexts with differing baseline attitudes towards the police and experiences of transit terrorist attacks, to assess the extent to which public vigilance campaigns need to be adapted to address local concerns. Results suggest that future public vigilance campaigns should address differences in lay and official definitions of suspicious behaviour to reduce uncertainty as a barrier to reporting. They also demonstrate that the influence of procedural justice on cooperation via its influence on social identification with the police holds beyond the context of community policing and reporting of traditional crime. However, other drivers are likely to be more important for determining reporting suspicious behaviour on rail networks, including perceived benefits of reporting. Theoretical and practical implications of cross-national differences and similarities in responses are discussed.
... The mechanisms explaining this BWhite Male Effect,^are not fully specified (Kahan et al. 2007) but may be attributed to gender and racial inequalities (Olofsson and Rashid 2011) and depend on levels of racial and ethnic acculturation (Johnson 2011). But differences in risk perceptions across race still persist, even when trust in and access to political authority have been controlled (Kahan et al. 2007;Satterfield et al. 2004). ...
Article
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When faced with natural disasters, communities respond in diverse ways, with processes that reflect their cultures, needs, and the extent of damage incurred by the community. Because of their potentially recurring nature, floods offer an opportunity for communities to learn from and adapt to these experiences with the goal of increasing resiliency through reflection, modification of former policies, and adoption of new policies. A key component of a community’s ability to learn from disaster is how community members perceive the causes of extreme flood events and whether there is risk of future similar events. Perceptions of causes of flooding, including climate change, may be influenced by experiencing a flood event, along with individual preferences for various policies put in place to help a community recover. Using data collected from two rounds of public surveys (n = 903) across six Colorado communities flooded in 2013, we investigate whether there is variation across causal understanding of flooding, and whether this variation can be linked to differences in proximity of damages experienced (personal property, neighborhood, or community). By analyzing these variables, along with other variables (time since flood, political affiliation, and worldview), this study improves our understanding of the factors that drive our beliefs about potential causes of floods, focusing on climate change. The findings suggest that the extent of damage experienced at the neighborhood and community levels can have a significant effect on the perceptions of climate change held by the public. In turn, these beliefs about climate change are positively associated with perceptions of risks of future flooding.
... Given awareness of their disproportionate vulnerability to environmental hazards, the environmental concerns of members of disadvantaged groups may be less rooted in political ideology than those of advantaged groups (Satterfield, Mertz, & Slovic, 2004). Consistent with this hypothesis, in a large nationally representative survey, Schuldt and Pearson (2016) found that racial and ethnic minorities' attitudes and beliefs about climate change are less politically polarized than those of whites. ...
Chapter
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Environmental sustainability, the long-term management and protection of earth’s resources and ecosystems, is increasingly recognized as a societal challenge shaped by human behavior at every level of social interaction, from neighborhoods to nations. Psychological perspectives on conservation, which have traditionally emphasized individual determinants of proenvironmental behavior (e.g., personal environmental concern), have begun to incorporate a more nuanced picture of the ways in which both individual and group-level processes can influence conservation efforts. In particular, research on social norms and identity-based influences suggests that social perceptions, such as beliefs about what actions are common and socially valued, can be more powerful drivers of conservation behavior than monetary incentives, proenvironmental appeals, or the ease of proenvironmental actions. Additional research has begun to incorporate cross- cultural perspectives and insights from diversity science and intervention science to better understand how different cultural orientations and social identity processes, such as those related to race, ethnicity, and social class, impact environmental decision- making. A new class of “wise” interventions that target psychological mechanisms that shape conservation behavior, such as interventions that incorporate normative feedback, target public behavior, or seek to alter daily routines during major life transitions, have proven especially effective at promoting sustained behavior change. Generally, behavioral interventions are more effective at promoting conservation behavior when they are tailored to the social context in which behavior occurs.
... Mobilisations to reduce the vulnerability of marginalised people and communities tend to divide the quest for disaster justice into three dimensions: (1) the distribution of risks and vulnerabilities to disasters; (2) procedural processes for participation in decision-making about all aspects of disasters before, during, and after they occur; and (3) distributive justice in the form of fair and equitable access to disaster resources (Chopra, 2017;Satterfield et al., 2004;Walker and Burningham, 2011). While ideally these three types of justice should be pursued together, research indicates that procedural justice is likely to receive the least genuine attention. ...
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The essays in this themed collection critically engage with questions of environmental disaster justice from historical and contemporary perspectives. The contributions are geographically centred on urbanising societies in six countries in South, East, and Southeast Asia: India, the Philippines, Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia, and Japan. Among the first multidisciplinary efforts to develop the concept of disaster justice and to explore it through the lens of Asia's urban transition in the Anthropocene, the intention is to push boundaries of research longitudinally and at multiple spatial scales to identify macro as well as micro levels of disaster causalities and justice issues. Differentiated from such allied concepts as environmental justice and climate justice, disaster justice is concerned with how issues of socioecological justice are brought to the political fore by moments of crisis, rupture, and displacement. Our central premise is that disaster justice is a moral claim on governance, which arises from anthropogenic interventions in nature that incubate environmental crises and magnify their socially and spatially uneven impacts. Posing disaster justice as a problem of governance thus acknowledges that disasters always occur in political spaces, which necessitate more equitable and inclusive modes of disaster preparedness, response and redress for the underlying inequalities that contribute to conditions of compounded risk and precarity. Viewed through the lens of governance, hope is found in expressions of collective agency to effect transformative changes that focus on three main dimensions of disaster justice: the underlying social and spatial processes leading to uneven patterns of vulnerability, participatory forms of disaster governance, and just distribution of resources to support recovery and social resilience.
... Beyond this, concerns about privacy are commonly related to potential for discrimination in employment and insurability across all populations, including minority populations [6,7]. Concerns about potential oppression or discrimination seem more likely to discourage participation among those who have experienced these phenomena, as we know that experience of sociopolitical vulnerability/discrimination increases perceptions of, and attention to, perceived risk [11]. ...
Article
Although public repository requirements are aimed at researchers and designed to ensure that the utility of the limited data we have is optimized, these policies also have ramifications for research participants. In this opinion article, I discuss how the nature of such repositories can subject participants whose data are ‘banked’ to unwitting participation in scientific projects they might find objectionable. In addition, concerns about the privacy of banked genomic data are exacerbated by recent projects that demonstrate the ability to re-identify genomic data, raising the specter of discriminatory or oppressive use of this information. These concerns are most likely to discourage participation in research that requires data sharing among those who have experienced these phenomena and are less likely to discount their likelihood.
... Perceived risks are informed by personal history, both in terms of past experiences with environmental health risks and general life history [15]. Minority populations are often well aware of their increased vulnerability to environmental hazards and comparatively lower ability to limit their personal exposures [16,17]. Furthermore, minorities experience significant barriers to accessing information related to health effects and environmental exposures, which may increase perceptions of risk and hamper the ability of minority groups to respond effectively to environmental threats [10,18]. ...
Article
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American Indian and Alaska Native populations experience chronic disparities in a wide range of health outcomes, many of which are associated with disproportionate exposures to environmental health hazards. In the American Southwest, many indigenous tribes experience challenges in securing access to sustainable and safe sources of drinking water, limiting air pollution emissions on and off tribal lands, and cleaning up hazardous contaminants left over from a legacy of natural resource extraction. To better understand how households perceive the risk of exposure to potential environmental health risks, we conducted six focus groups organized by age and geographic location on the Hopi reservation. Focus group participants (n = 41) were asked to reflect on changes in their natural and manmade environment and how their health might be influenced by any potential changes. By investigating these environmental risk perceptions, we were able to identify arsenic in drinking water and indoor air quality as significant exposures of concern. These risk perceptions were frequently anchored in personal and familial experiences with health problems such as cancer and asthma. Older focus group participants identified ongoing shifts away from tradition and cultural practices as increasing environmental health risks. Similar to other communities economically dependent on the extraction of natural resources, focus group participants described the need for behavioral modifications regarding environmental health risks rather than eliminating the sources of potential health risks entirely. Our results suggest the need for including traditional values and practices in future interventions to reduce environmental health risks.
... 18 Furthermore, according to Satterfield et al., when asked if hazardous facilitates are more common in minority communities, only 50.4% of white males agreed, while 66.5% of nonwhite males agreed. 19 This division is shown in gender as well, with 71.6% of nonwhite females agreeing with the previous statement compared with slightly above 50% of males . This gap between beliefs and empirical evidence further demonstrates that these different groups are living in different environmental conditions. ...
Article
Previous research has shown that white males tend to perceive risks from environmental exposures as lower than women and members of minority populations, often referred to as the white male effect. However, this effect was mostly demonstrated without regard to the actual lived environment experienced by the study participants. There is growing evidence that differences in risk perceptions cannot be adequately explained through race or gender. This cross-sectional study collected survey data from residents of Manchester, a small neighborhood in Houston, Texas, characterized by industrial sites, unimproved infrastructure, nuisance flooding, and poor air quality. Trained community members attempted a complete census within the geographically compact neighborhood. Logistic regression was used to estimate the relative effect of race on environmental health perceptions adjusted for generational age. In contrast to previous research, our study (N = 109) showed that nonwhite individuals perceived a lower environmental health risk compared with their white counterparts. Comparing female and minority racial groups with white males showed that on most issues, white males had the highest perception of risk. For example, adjusted for age, nonwhite respondents perceived the risk of contact with standing water as significantly lower than white respondents (odds ratio = 0.34; 95% confidence interval = 0.12-0.93). This study supports the hypothesis that when environmental conditions experienced by individuals are the same, minority groups tend to underestimate their risk compared with white males. One possible explanation put forth is that communal norms are created within minority populations through generations of exposure to negative environmental conditions compared with white populations.
... Studies have found that females are more risk-averse than males, particularly with respect to fracking (Boudet et al., 2014), emerging technologies (Siegrist et al., 2007), and the construction of new power plants (Ansolabehere and Konisky, 2009). In addition to gender, race has also been found to influence perceived risk, with non-whites demonstrating greater risk aversion (Satterfield et al., 2004), perhaps due to lack of empowerment (e.g., social and environmental injustices) and lowered confidence in government authorities (Kahan et al., 2007). Others have argued that the ''white-male effect" (Flynn et al., 1994) may be the result of a ''discrete class of highly risk-skeptical white men," and race and gender only influence risk perceptions ''in conjunction with distinctive worldviews that themselves feature either gender or race differentiation" (Kahan et al., 2007). ...
Article
Using the psychometric paradigm of risk in conjunction with surveys of the Michigan public (n = 638) and a regional planning organization (n = 65), we examine the perceived risk and concerns associated with underwater oil pipelines, the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline in particular, and oil spills under ice. The fate of Line 5 is heavily debated in Michigan, specifically the portion that traverses the Straits of Mackinac, which can be ice-covered for months. Scant literature examines how individuals perceive the risk associated with Line 5, its alternatives, or potential spills in open water or under ice. Here we identify considerable concern regarding both the pipeline and the potential for spills under ice on behalf of the public, and increased concern about spills under ice on behalf of the planning organization. Organization members' concerns are significantly predicted by beliefs about the difficulty in remediating spills, however not by beliefs about spills' likelihood, difficulty in detection, noticeability, or consequences. Our results identify the need to better examine and communicate the risks associated with underwater pipelines and spills, both in open water and under ice, as well as options for remediating oil captured under ice. Furthermore, we recommend the adoption of decision-making and risk governance processes that explicitly expand analysis of the social, economic and environmental tradeoffs of underwater pipelines such as Line 5. Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of International Association for Great Lakes Research.
... underrepresentation of vulnerable and marginalized communities in science and policymaking, and a failure to recognize their perspectives, also has implications for the growing politicization of science. Given their greater awareness of environmental inequities (Satterfield, Mertz, and Slovic 2004), the views of racial-ethnic minority and other socioeconomically disadvantaged groups within the united States may be driven less by political ideology compared to members of advantaged groups. For instance, Schuldt and Pearson (2016) found that relative to whites, racial and ethnic minority groups' climate change opinions showed weaker political polarization-a pattern that has remained largely stable over time (Ballew et al. 2021). ...
Article
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Racial and ethnic minority and lower-income groups are disproportionately affected by environmental hazards and suffer worse health outcomes than other groups in the United States. Relative to whites and higher-income groups, racial-ethnic minority and lower-income Americans also frequently express greater concern about high-profile global environmental threats like climate change, but they are widely misperceived as being less concerned about these issues than white and higher-income Americans. We use new survey research to explore public perceptions of COVID-19—another global threat marked by substantial racial, ethnic, and class disparities—finding a distinct pattern of misperceptions regarding groups’ concerns. We then discuss how these misperceptions represent a unique form of social misinformation that may pose a threat to science and undermine the cooperation and trust needed to address collective problems.
... Research has shown that there is a clear gender perspective with regard to crisis communication or collaboration between different crisis management actors in which crisis communication is included as a clearly defined element (Breakwell, 2014;Deverell, Alvinius, & Hede, 2019;Greenberg & Schneider, 1995;Gustafsod, 1998;Satterfield, Mertz, & Slovic, 2004;Wester-Herber, 2004). Aspects such as gender, age and experience, as well as various organizational preconditions, are important for how collaboration and crisis communication is managed in relation to various actors involved in the crisis management (Ericson, 2014). ...
Article
The purpose of this study is to examine, explain and interpret concepts of gender in relation to information management, crisis communication and collaboration within the framework of (crisis) communicator tasks. Since the crisis management realm is male-coded and the communications profession is female-coded, there is reason to gain more knowledge of how these relate to each other. The ambition is to contribute to an underdeveloped area of theory. A total of nineteen participants joined the study. All the interviews were processed according to the guidelines for the thematic analysis method. Analysis showed that three themes are central to understanding the role of communicators in the crisis management system. These are a) crisis communication as a temporary organization; b) requirements imposed on, and expectations from, the role and the individual and c) organizational greed. Results are discussed theoretically from a gender perspective, and practical implications are given as well as proposals for further studies.
... Minority social groups are those whose needs do not match the needs of the majority population. Acknolwedging this is significant in allowing these groups to exercise a fundamental human right (Satterfield, Mertz andSlovic 2004: 1115): the right to a dignified life. 2 In the past, 1 By "social rights" we consider also the broader term 'socio-economic rights' i.e. the right to education, right to work, right to healthcare, right to social protection and care etc. without going into further determination of any possible differences between social and socioeconomic rights (Tushnet 1992: 25). About this issue, also see: Young (2008: 113). 2 By "right to dignified life" we considered "not only the right of every human being not to be deprived of his life arbitrarily, but also the right that he will not be prevented from having access to the conditions that guarantee a dignified life (Vida Digna)" that stands in favour of the interdisciplinary approach of this article i.e. taking into consideration the healthcare and the differentiation of minority groups from the majority population was based mostly on religious, ethical, and linguistic differences, but later differentiation has also been made based on people's health status in the context of increased health risks (Pasqualucci 2008: 31). ...
Article
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This paper aims to introduce a legal framework for exercising one of the most basic socio-economic rights of people with rare diseases: the right to decent work. Considering the specificity of the medical and, consequently, social status of the people affected, the appropriate labour-law measures need to be determined. Applying the comparative and normative method along with the contemporary anti-discrimination principle, the labour status of the rare diseases population has been analysed based on the proposed classification in legal terms. As a precondition for labour legislation, new Serbian healthcare legislation on rare diseases should be supported through the process of implementation to reduce adverse cases as effectively as possible, advance genetic and other clinical diagnoses, and thus increase the efficiency of available medical treatment. Concerning public health policy, updated registries and better health statistics should be created. These activities require certain amendments to both general and specialist labour legislation (disability legislation), aiming to include patients with rare diseases in the working (and social) environment without discrimination.
... Moreover, unequal power relations profoundly reveal women are more vulnerable than men across social threats. Females are always reduced into a disadvantaged sociopolitical position due to gender inequality or discrimination (Flynn et al., 1994;Satterfield et al., 2004), suggesting that risks are always triggered and managed by men and that men feel risks as more acceptable than women for they may benefit more from the risk-takings. Therefore, we hypothesize as follows: ...
Article
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While previous studies have shown that risk perceptions vary across populations and domains, there is little empirical evidence on the interplay between individual-level characteristics and risk domains in shaping perceived social risks in a country, like China. This study empirically examines the effects of individual-level characteristics on risk perceptions across different domains. Based on a large sample survey data from 31 provincial capitals in China, our analysis demonstrates that risk perceptions fall into four domains: contingencies, health threat, natural hazards, and social security. The multilevel model estimates indicate that confidence in local government responsible for risk management and being a male are uniformly and significantly correlated to less risk perceptions among all risk domains. Education presents a consistent pattern in amplifying risk perceptions, with only some effects on perceived health threat and contingencies displaying statistical significance. Also, age and income exhibit mixed associations with risk perceptions, only with age significantly attenuating perceived contingencies. The results also demonstrate that religious faith, party membership, and Hukou are related to risk perceptions. We discuss the theoretical and policy implications of our findings and conclude with research limitations and future research avenues.
... Risk theory has established a number of factors that predict fear among the general public. This research has established that risks that are unfamiliar, unnatural, not freely chosen, or perceived as unfair or uncontrollable are likely to be associated with heightened risk perceptions (Beck, 1999;Rogers, Amlot, Rubin, Wessely, & Krieger, 2007;Satterfield, Mertz, & Slovic, 2004). Furthermore "dread risks"i.e., low-probability, high-impact events that are perceived to have catastrophic potential-are also associated with particularly high levels of concern (Gigerenzer, 2006;Slovic, Fischhoff, & Lichtenstein, 1981). ...
Article
Effective risk communication is an integral part of responding to terrorism, but until recently, there has been very little pre‐event communication in a European context to provide advice to the public on how to protect themselves during an attack. Following terrorist attacks involving mass shootings in Paris, France, in November 2015, the U.K. National Police Chiefs’ Council released a Stay Safe film and leaflet that advises the public to “run,” “hide,” and “tell” in the event of a firearms or weapons attack. However, other countries, including Denmark, do not provide preparedness information of this kind, in large part because of concern about scaring the public. In this survey experiment, 3,003 U.K. and Danish participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: no information, a leaflet intervention, and a film intervention to examine the impact of “Run, Hide, Tell” advice on perceptions about terrorism, the security services, and intended responses to a hypothetical terrorist firearms attack. Results demonstrate important benefits of pre‐event communication in relation to enhancing trust, encouraging protective health behaviors, and discouraging potentially dangerous actions. However, these findings also suggest that future communications should address perceived response costs and target specific problem behaviors. Cross‐national similarities in response suggest this advice is suitable for adaptation in other countries.
... Numerous studies show differences in risk perception of gender and ethnicity. Women worry more than men about many different dangers from environmental pollution to hand guns, from blood transfusions to red meat (Barke et al., 1997;Bord and Connor, 1997;Brody, 1984;Davidson and Freudenburg, 1996;Flynn et al., 1994;Gutteling and Wiegman, 1993;Jones, 1998;Kalof et al., 1999;Mohai and Bryant, 1998;Satterfield et al., 2004;Steger and Witt, 1989;Stern et al., 1993). Some studies find that girls are as competitive and risk-taking as boys when surrounded by only girls. ...
Preprint
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How do people choose who should be responsible for handling risk in a common project or in a social context? Do persons allocate their own risk to others and how does it affect the person's risk perception? To what extent will personal characteristics define individuals in terms of perceived risk as well as determine who will be risk responsible and who will be risk allocating? These questions are investigated in a multinomial regression model using questionnaire data. The results show a difference between risk perception of individuals and the likelihood of being risk responsible and risk allocation. The results also show evidence for risk responsibility and risk allocation based on personal characteristics of individuals, as well as indications of moral hazard of risk allocators and heightened risk perception of risk responsible individuals.
... There is neither a single definition nor single measure for social vulnerability agreed upon in the literature. Nevertheless, there is a consensus that race, gender, education, immigration status, and socioeconomic factors limit access to information, financial resources, and political power and are closely related to coping capacity in response to disasters (Blaikie 1994;Colten 2006;Yohe and Tol 2002;Satterfield et al. 2004). Fielding and Burningham (2005) found that environmental inequality correlated with flooding hazards and suggested that even though higher socioeconomic status groups tend to be exposed to flooding hazards, it is lower socioeconomic status groups that are most at risk. ...
Chapter
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Since the industrial revolution, the relationship between human and nature has not improved in line with technological and social innovations. In this paper, we chose the Chengdu plains, known as the Land of Abundance, as our study subject. We adopt methods of comparing settlements in different eras. The results indicate that natural processes played a crucial role in determining human settlements in the Land of Abundance. Relationship between human and nature in these four phases reflects the transition from submission to nature, respect for nature, reconstruction of nature, and finally to the conquest of nature, respectively, in the pre-construction period, original construction period, development period, and modern period. We have revealed the deep wisdom of the harmonious coexistence between social and natural systems from the five aspects of the holistic view of daoshengwanwu, the practice view of daofaziran, the social view of sharing benefits across, the ethical view of Tao controls technology, and the good governance view of spontaneous order. Lastly, this paper points out several principles of landscape and urban planning in the presence of deep urban sustainability challenges: coevolution of natural and social systems would help promote sustainability of human settlements; nature-guided human settlement practice can maintain various healthy life-support systems; planning practice should be emphasized to maintain or reconstruct healthy natural process; modular units should be constructed through integrating environmental management units with planned unit development; self-governance organizations could be fostered likely based on modular units; and finally but not lastly, technology applications should be subject to restriction of environmental ethics.
... Numerous studies show differences in risk perception of gender and ethnicity. Women worry more than men about many different dangers from environmental pollution to hand guns, from blood transfusions to red meat (Barke et al., 1997;Bord and Connor, 1997;Brody, 1984;Davidson and Freudenburg, 1996;Flynn et al., 1994;Gutteling and Wiegman, 1993;Jones, 1998;Kalof et al., 1999;Mohai and Bryant, 1998;Satterfield et al., 2004;Steger and Witt, 1989;Stern et al., 1993). Some studies find that girls are as competitive and risk-taking as boys when surrounded by only girls. ...
... It was previously believed that men and women perceived their risks differently, but studies have disproved this theory [54]. The differences between men and women could actually be traced to differences in socioeconomic factors and perceived vulnerability, which are known to affect a person's power to control risks [55]. Immigrants perceived their risk as higher compared to native Swedes in a Swedish study from 2005. ...
... Four of the components including households who identify as White alone (C1), Two or more races (not Hispanic or Latino) (C6), Hispanic or Latino, black or African American alone (C7), and renter occupied households (C10) have a standard deviation between 1.11 and 3.54 below the mean and contribute to 0.27% of the total variance. While studies commonly indicate that white populations are less vulnerable to the impacts of flooding (Satterfield et al. 2004;Clark et al. 2014), our PCA result is likely indicative of the 2010 Not Hispanic or Latino, two or more races, excluding some other race, and three or more races C5 ...
Article
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Intense precipitation events are projected to rise across the southeast USA. The field of meteorology has expanded knowledge of urban precipitation, yet the uneven impacts of precipitation and flooding on specific communities, particularly in the USA, have received less attention. This paper addresses this gap. Using the 2010 Nashville Davidson County Tennessee flood event, the differential community impacts of flooding and their spatial variations are analyzed. Guided by social vulnerability and hazards methodologies, census block data from the 2012 American Community Survey, ArcGIS imagery and redlining maps are used to develop a social variability index using principal components analysis. Components were overlaid on all 98 Nashville census tracts for Davidson County to reveal that flood impacts were inequitably distributed with socioeconomically and racially marginalized households the most severely impacted from flooding. The consequence is that historical processes of segregation and marginalization continue to shape uneven flood impacts in Nashville. Examining the ways vulnerable populations experience severe precipitation events is needed particularly as extreme events are expected to intensify in the future.
... Similarly, Fritze et al. [1] argued that exposure to extreme weather events, including prolonged indirect exposure to, and awareness of, the effects, have substantial repercussions in terms of both morbidity and psychological disorders. These repercussions can be either moderated or exacerbated according to a variety of psycho-social factors [14], including individual and community-wide vulnerabilities [15][16][17]. In their review of the relevant literature, Doherty and Clayton [18] identified, among the effects of indirect climate change exposure, intense emotional arousal, including anxiety around both current and future risks to humans and other species. ...
Article
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Abstract: The climate crisis poses a serious threat to the health and well-being of individuals. For many, climate change knowledge is derived from indirect exposure to information transmitted through the media. Such content can elicit a variety of emotional responses, including anger, sadness, despair, fear, and guilt. Worry and anxiety are especially common responses, usually referred to as “climate anxiety”. The main objectives of this study were to analyze how exposure to climate change through the media relates to climate anxiety and individual and collective self-efficacy, and to evaluate the relationship between climate anxiety and efficacy beliefs. A total of 312 Italian university students (aged 18–26 years) participated in the research by filling out an anonymous questionnaire. Participants reported being exposed several times per week to information about climate change, especially from social media, newspapers, and television programs. Moreover, the results showed that the attention paid to information about climate change was not only positively related to climate anxiety, but also to individual and collective self-efficacy. Most notably, participants’ efficacy beliefs were found to be positively related to climate anxiety. This somewhat controversial finding stresses that, in the context of pro-environmental behavior changes, a moderate level of anxiety could engender feelings of virtue, encouraging people to rethink actions with negative ecological impacts. Keywords: climate anxiety; media exposure; self-efficacy
... In the nuclear power domain, vulnerability can be categorized into two areas: (i) vulnerability as a measurement of 'risk' (e.g., regional risk assessment (50)(51)(52)(53) and post-accident mental health effect assessment (54)(55)(56) ), or (ii) vulnerability compared with NPP risk assessments, where exposure to risk is viewed from the perspective of the local population (e.g., environmental justice, NPP siting (57)(58)(59)(60)(61)(62)(63) ). This paper, however, adapts the concept of social vulnerability, developed by Cutter et al. (2003) in the context of natural hazards, (64,65) for the context of a severe nuclear accident. ...
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... An empirical study conducted by Satterfield et al. [53] showed that individuals perceive more environmental risk when they think that the risk is distributed without injustice at the individual level. Leiserowitz and Akerlof [54] showed that Hispanic and African American individuals and those from "other" races and ethnicities were often the strongest proponents of climate change policies that aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. ...
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The serious problems stemming from climate change require an active response it. This study focuses on the role of value factors in action on climate change. Individuals’ values systematically influence the fundamental orientation of their attitudes and behaviors. Therefore, this study analyzes whether six values, namely: ideology, environmental justice, religiosity, personal norms, scientific optimism, and environmentalism, influence action on climate change directly or indirectly, and compares their effects with perception factors’ impact. The results indicate that religiosity decreased action on climate change, whereas personal norms, science and technology (S&T) optimism, and environmentalism increased such action. Among the perception factors, perceived risks and benefits, trust, and knowledge increased action on climate change. Furthermore, perception factors explained action on climate change more than value factors did. Moreover, value factors (i.e., S&T optimism and environmentalism) moderated the impacts of perceived risks, perceived benefits, and negative emotions on action against climate change.
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Climate change has exacerbated socioeconomic and environmental stresses in places where social and ecological vulnerability persist. With a growing population projected to occur in the Boston metropolitan area, more socially vulnerable groups are likely to bear the burdens from climate change-induced hazards. Understanding the interlinked relationship between social and ecological vulnerability is critical to understand the resilience of social-ecological systems in communities. This paper aims to provide a social-ecological assessment framework that serves as a resilience planning tool to inform growth management and incorporate EcoWisdom for climate justice planning. This study employed a Social-Ecological Vulnerability Matrix to examine climate justice hotspots where social vulnerability intersects with ecological vulnerability of a place in the Charles River Watershed. Four climate change scenarios derived from a climate sensitivity study were investigated. The results provided implications for four planning strategies corresponding to the four quadrates of the matrix. This paper demonstrated a planning tool to inform policies for enhancing resilience under a range of climate change impacts and to integrate equity planning for local climate justice.
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In this paper, we examine discourse in public deliberations in pre-development locales in the UK and US about advantages and disadvantages of future shale development (‘fracking’). We aimed to understand how people anticipate potential health effects, broadly construed, of environmental toxicity and disturbance in the context of planned, but not yet implemented, energy development. In day-long deliberations with small, diverse groups in two cities in each country (London, Cardiff in the UK; Los Angeles, Santa Barbara in the US), participants discussed impacts on health and well-being using three main rubrics: ‘It’s money or health’, ‘Why take chances?’ and ‘Beyond the tipping point’. Throughout, participants framed health as an intrinsically moral issue, with collective responsibility as a dominant normative frame. We identify the concept of compound risk to underscore effects of multiple risks and hazards on people’s sensibilities about anticipated future health and environmental harm. The findings demonstrate how and why diverse publics in pre-impact sites in both countries saw shale extraction as high stakes development that poses significant, often unacceptable, risks to human and environmental health and well-being. Risks extended beyond toxicity to broad threats to health, including, for some, the end of life as we know it on the planet. Overall, participants’ discussions of health were more connected to social categories and their underlying moral principles than to technological details. This work contributes evidence of blurred boundaries between environment and health as well as the importance people place on social risks in the context of proposed energy system change.
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Reviews the book, Social stigma—The psychology of marked relationships by Edward Jones, Amerigo Farina, Albert Hastorf, Hazel Marks, Dale Miller, Robert Scott, and Rita French (1984). This book presents one of the more incisive analyses to date of the stigmatizing process. It is a scholarly and timely review of the literature examining the social and psychological factors of relationships between those who are "normal" and those who are "deviant" in some fashion. Individuals with differences—the disabled, the disfigured, ex-mental patients, and ex-convicts—are considered. The material presented is relevant for the social scientist exploring the vicissitudes of stereotyping, and also for the practicing clinician attempting to deal with the daily demands of rehabilitation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Risks tend to be judged lower by men than by women and by white people than by people of colour. Prior research by Flynn, Slovic and Mertz [Risk Analysis, 14, pp. 1101-1108] found that these race and gender differences in risk perception in the United States were primarily due to 30% of the white male population who judge risks to be extremely low. The specificity of this finding suggests an explanation in terms of sociopolitical factors rather than biological factors. The study reported here presents new data from a recent national survey conducted in the United States. Although white males again stood apart with respect to their judgements of risk and their attitudes concerning worldviews, trust, and risk-related stigma, the results showed that the distinction between white males and others is more complex than originally thought. Further investigation of sociopolitical factors in risk judgements is recommended to clarify gender and racial differences.
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The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
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Objective. Surveys demonstrate somewhat consistent gender differences in environmental concern, but there is no consensus on reasons for these differences. This research makes the case that differences in perceived vulnerability to risk explain the gender gap found in environmental surveys and other, quite distinct, areas of potential risk as well. Methods. Two national surveys, administered simultaneously and each involving very different environmental risks (hazardous waste sites and global warming), are analyzed in terms of gender differences. Results. In both surveys, in every question that involves reactions to a specific risk, women are more concerned than men. Standard deviations also are consistently smaller for women. When health-risk perceptions enter equations accounting for environmental concerns, however, the gender gap disappears. Conclusions. Questionnaire items that imply specific risks tend to produce significant gender differences. These types of survey results can be construed as communication events in which respondents who feel vulnerable answer in ways that urge caution on policymakers.
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Drawing on a social constructionist perspective, this paper (1) identifies some of he most salient dimensions of the ''environmental justice ''frame as it has emerged from local community struggles over toxic contamination in the United States; and (2) provides an empirical illustration of the emergence and application of this concept in a particular contaminated community, the Carver Terrace neighborhood of Texarkana, Texas. Carver Terrace, an African-American community consisting mostly of homeowners, recently organized to win a federal buyout and relocation after being declared a Superfund site in 1984. Using case study evidence, the paper argues tal the residents' ability to mobilize for social change was intimately linked to their adoption of an ''environmental justice'' frame. The intent of the conceptual discussion of environmental justice and the case study is to clarify the meaning of a term used with increasing frequency and some ambiguity in both popular and academic discourses. This paper documents the process by which the environmental justice frame is constructed in an interplay between the local community and national levels of the antitoxics movement.
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Accumulated research findings show that women tend to express higher levels of concern toward technology and the environment than do men, but that the tendency is not universal. The findings are particularly clear-cut for local facilities and/or nuclear and other technologies that are often seen as posing nisks of contamination; findings appear to be more mixed for broader patterns of environmental concern. Although the differing patterns have been reported with enough consistency to be considered relatively robust, less progress has been made to date in explaining the underlying dynamics. Five main hypotheses can be identified. One hypothesis, the expectation that increased knowledge will lead to decreased concern, has received so little support, despite repeated examination, that it can be discarded. Another, that women tend to express greater concern than do men about the health and safety implications of any given level of technological risk, has received consistent support. The remaining 3 hypotheses require additional empincal examination.
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Facility-specific information on pollution was obtained for 36 coke plants and 46 oil refineries in the United States and matched with information on populations surrounding these 82 facilities. These data were analyzed to determine whether environmental inequities were present, whether they were more economic or racial in nature, and whether the racial composition of nearby communities has changed significantly since plants began operations. The Census tracts near coke plants have a disproportionate share of poor and nonwhite residents. Multivariate analyses suggest that existing inequities are primarily economic in nature. The findings for oil refineries are not strongly supportive of the environmental inequity hypothesis. Rank ordering of facilities by race, poverty, and pollution produces limited (although not consistent) evidence that the more risky facilities tend to be operating in communities with above-median proportions of nonwhite residents (near coke plants) and Hispanic residents (near oil refineries). Over time, the racial makeup of many communities near facilities has changed significantly, particularly in the case of coke plants sited in the early 1900s. Further risk-oriented studies of multiple manufacturing facilities in various industrial sectors of the economy are recommended.
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Social equity has become an important concern of the environmental movement over the past decade. The equity issue is analyzed here for practically all of the inactive hazardous waste disposal sites on the National Priorities List (NPL) regulated under the Comprehensive Response Compensation and Liability Act and its 1986 Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (CERCLA/ SARA). Two dimensions of equity are emphasized, namely, site location relative to the location of minority populations and the distribution of cleanup plans or Records of Decision (ROD) across communities with NPL sites that have different socioeconomic characteristics. With respect to site location, the percentage of Blacks and Hispanics aggregated at the Census Place or MCD level in communities with NPL sites was greater than is typical nationwide (largely attributable to the concentration of minority populations in a few large urban areas with NPL sites). In contrast, the percentage of the population below the poverty line in communities with NPL sites largely matched that of the nation as a whole. With respect to site cleanup, communities with relatively higher percentages of racial minority populations have fewer cleanup plans (Records of Decision signed) than other communities with NPL sites. Whether a ROD exists is influenced by when the site was designated for the NPL: sites designated earlier (prior to the SARA amendments of 1986) are more likely to have RODs, and also less likely to have high proportions of racial minority populations than sites designated later. This implies that initially the designation process may have resulted in NPL sites being located disproportionately in minority areas, but this pattern seems to be reversing itself in more recently designated sites. As with any statistical analysis, these findings are findings of association and not causality. Thus, racial and ethnic disproportionalities with respect to inactive hazardous waste site location seem to be concentrated in a relatively few areas. Disproportionalities with respect to cleanup do exist, but appear to be more a function of the nature of the process of designation of NPL sites in the early 1980s rather than a result of actions connected with cleanup plans per se. Further investigations are needed at alternative geographic scales to discern the sensitivity of patterns of inequity to distance from the sites.
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Human beings have always been intuitive toxicologists, relying on their senses of sight, taste, and smell to detect harmful or unsafe food, water, and air. As we have come to recognize that our senses are not adequate to assess the dangers inherent in exposure to a chemical substance, we have created the sciences of toxicology and risk assessment to perform this function. Yet despite this great effort to overcome the limitations of intuitive toxicology, it has become evident that even our best scientific methods still depend heavily on extrapolations and judgments in order to infer human health risks from animal data. Many observers have acknowledged the inherent subjectivity in the assessment of chemical risks and have indicated a need to examine the subjective or intuitive elements of expert and lay risk judgments. We have begun such an examination by surveying members of the Society of Toxicology and the lay public about basic toxicological concepts, assumptions, and interpretations. Our results demonstrate large differences between toxicologists and laypeople, as well as differences between toxicologists working in industry, academia, and government. In addition, we find that toxicologists are sharply divided in their opinions about the ability to predict a chemical's effect on human health on the basis of animal studies. We argue that these results place the problems of risk communication in a new light. Although the survey identifies misconceptions that experts should clarify for the public, it also suggests that controversies over chemical risks may be fueled as much by limitations of the science of risk assessment and disagreements among experts as by public misconceptions.
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Risk communication is being characterized as one way of facilitating more effective, democratic and participatory risk management strategies. An emphasis on formal communication approaches as a means to improve decisions and decrease conflict will highlight the challenge of managing hazards within a culturally heterogeneous society. Communication and participatory strategies will be considered successful only if diverse communities can be engaged as partners in the policy process. Because responses to risks are embedded and evolve within broader social environments, achieving the promise of risk communication across a diverse society may not be possible absent an understanding of how sociocultural variables and past experiences shape the exchange of ideas or information in any particular situation. This paper considers the implications of ethnic and socioeconomic variability for the risk communication process, summarizing theoretical perspectives and empirical evidence on the link between sociocultural features and risk responses. Specifically, the factors that define the context of communication may influence: the initial framing of a risk issue, particularly, the adoption of an environmental justice vs. scientific/economic perspective; the perceived importance of various aspects of the decision problem; and prior beliefs about environmental hazards and agencies involved in risk management. Two examples of situations requiring communications about risk are presented and illustrate how these principles could operate in minority or lower-income communities. A significant challenge for health and regulatory officials will be to engage in an interactive process of information and opinion exchanges that is reasonable and effective within vastly different socioeconomic and cultural contexts.
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In this study differences in appraisal, feelings of insecurity, and ways of coping were assessed between men and women, and related to their level of formal education. The sample consisted of 513 men and women who responded to a mailed questionnaire dealing with the hazards of living in an estate with soil pollution, near a chemical plant, or in the vicinity of a planned site for the storage of radioactive waste. The results show that women assess the hazards as more unacceptable and threatening, and report more feelings of insecurity than men. A number of possible explanations is reviewed.
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"This slim but well-documented book raises far more questions than it answers, which, in and of itself, is of course a noteworthy contribution. Szasz has called attention to specific aspects of the hazardous waste movement that have been heretofore overlooked, and he thereby provides us with a wealth of new questions to address and answer." Ethics, Place and Environment "Szasz does a commendable job of linking the crucial issues of class, race and gender-issues that are often either ignored or downplayed-to the environment. Szasz compellingly argues that toxic victims are usually poor or working class. EcoPopulism is recommended not only for those concerned with the environment and social movements, but also for those interested in public policy and political economy. A fascinating account of a powerful grassroots movement still in progress." Boston Book Review "Andrew Szasz has written a very strong book of interest both to the academic and to the environmental activist. This is a fine little book that deserves a wide readership." Political Studies "EcoPopulism is a stimulating book because is assesses the transformation of the environmental movement in recent years and broadens our understanding of social activism." Journal of American History "Andrew Szasz has provided us a detailed insight of a movement which may very well continue to have a great impact on world politics." Canadian Field-Naturalist "It is precisely due to the transdisciplinarity of both the toxics movement and Szasz's study of it that the book is appropriate for so many people. EcoPopulism is recommended not only for those concerned with the environment and social movements, but would also be relevant and worthwhile for those interested in media analysis and current events as well as public policy and political economy." Journal of Political Ecology "Szasz's forte is analyzing the political dynamics surrounding a major technology movement. This is a valuable supplementary text for graduate courses in social movements, environmental sociology, political sociology, and related fields." Contemporary Sociology "The book is a highly readable and timely addition to the rapidly growing literature on environmental politics and activism. A valuable contribution to the literature on environmental history and politics. The book will be of significant interest to environmental geographers, historians, and sociologists." Economic Geography "The book is a considerable achievement of scholarship and inspiration." Sociology "In providing a rich review of critical issues, Szasz argues that while policy experts, government officials and industry spokesperson were all trying desperately to find ways to neutralize the now powerful local movements, lawmakers were responding to public concerns by increasing the federal laws governing hazardous waste." Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management Moment by moment the evidence mounts that unchecked modern industry is bringing us ever closer to environmental disaster. How can we move away from the brink of extinction, toward a human society the earth can bear? In the thriving popular politics of hazardous waste, Andrew Szasz finds an answer, a scenario for taking the most pressing environmental issues out of the academy and the boardroom and turning them into everyone's business. This book reconstructs the growth of a powerful movement around the question of toxic waste. Szasz follows the issue as it moves from the world of "official" policymaking in Washington, onto the nation's television screens and into popular consciousness, and then into America's neighborhoods, spurring the formation of thousands of local, community-based groups. He shows how, in less than a decade, a rich infrastructure of more permanent social organizations emerged from this movement, expanding its focus to include issues like municipal waste, military toxics, and pesticides. In the growth of this movement, we witness the birth of a radical environmental populism. Here Szasz identifies the force that pushed environmental policy away from the traditional approach, pollution removal, toward the superior logic of pollution prevention. He discusses the conflicting official responses to the movement's evolution, revealing that, despite initial resistance, lawmakers eventually sought to appease popular discontent by strengthening toxic waste laws. In its success, Szasz suggests, this movement may even prove to be the vehicle for reinvigorating progressive politics in the United States. Winner of the 1994-1995 Association for Humanist Sociology Book Award Andrew Szasz is associate professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Article
Efforts to examine racial differences in environmental attitudes and to explain what may account for them are relatively recent. A conventional wisdom has been that African Americans are not as concerned as are whites about environmental quality issues. Although this view has been challenged by recent studies and by the rising visibility of a grassroots "environmental justice" movement, much of the recent research has failed to distinguish among the many various types of environmental issues about which African Americans and white Americans may be concerned. Our review of the literature suggests that there are sound theoretical reasons to expect that African Americans are less concerned than are whites about some issues (such as nature preservation issues) but that they are more concerned about others (such as pollution). In particular, three theoretical explanations have a bearing on understanding racial differences in environmental concern: (1) hierarchy of needs, (2) cultural differences, and (3) environmental deprivation. The first two predict that African Americans are less concerned about the environment than are whites. The third predicts that African Americans are more concerned than are whites. We tested hypotheses about these explanations from a comprehensive survey of residents in the Detroit metropolitan area. We found little evidence to support the theoretical explanations that predict African Americans are less concerned about the environment than are whites. To the contrary, we found few differences between African Americans and whites, even over the nature preservation issues about which African Americans long have been thought to be unconcerned. Where significant differences existed, they were over local environmental problems, with African Americans expressing substantially greater concern than did whites. That racial differences in concern about such issues is a function of the disproportionate burden of environmental disamenities in African American neighborhoods was demonstrated from a multivariate analysis that employed a wide range of local environmental quality indicators.
Article
To determine whether the effects of low-level lead exposure persist, we reexamined 132 of 270 young adults who had initially been studied as primary school-children in 1975 through 1978. In the earlier study, neurobehavioral functioning was found to be inversely related to dentin lead levels. As compared with those we restudied, the other 138 subjects had had somewhat higher lead levels on earlier analysis, as well as significantly lower IQ scores and poorer teachers' ratings of classroom behavior. When the 132 subjects were reexamined in 1988, impairment in neurobehavioral function was still found to be related to the lead content of teeth shed at the ages of six and seven. The young people with dentin lead levels greater than 20 ppm had a markedly higher risk of dropping out of high school (adjusted odds ratio, 7.4; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.4 to 40.7) and of having a reading disability (odds ratio, 5.8; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.7 to 19.7) as compared with those with dentin lead levels less than 10 ppm. Higher lead levels in childhood were also significantly associated with lower class standing in high school, increased absenteeism, lower vocabulary and grammatical-reasoning scores, poorer hand-eye coordination, longer reaction times, and slower finger tapping. No significant associations were found with the results of 10 other tests of neurobehavioral functioning. Lead levels were inversely related to self-reports of minor delinquent activity. We conclude that exposure to lead in childhood is associated with deficits in central nervous system functioning that persist into young adulthood.
Article
In a prospective cohort study of 249 children from birth to two years of age, we assessed the relation between prenatal and postnatal lead exposure and early cognitive development. On the basis of lead levels in umbilical-cord blood, children were assigned to one of three prenatal-exposure groups: low (less than 3 micrograms per deciliter), medium (6 to 7 micrograms per deciliter), or high (greater than or equal to 10 micrograms per deciliter). Development was assessed semiannually, beginning at the age of six months, with use of the Mental Development Index of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development (mean +/- SD, 100 +/- 16). Capillary-blood samples obtained at the same times provided measures of postnatal lead exposure. Regression methods for longitudinal data were used to evaluate the association between infants' lead levels and their development scores after adjustment for potential confounders. At all ages, infants in the high-prenatal-exposure group scored lower than infants in the other two groups. The estimated difference between the overall performance of the low-exposure and high-exposure groups was 4.8 points (95 percent confidence interval, 2.3 to 7.3). Between the medium- and high-exposure groups, the estimated difference was 3.8 points (95 percent confidence interval, 1.3 to 6.3). Scores were not related to infants' postnatal blood lead levels. It appears that the fetus may be adversely affected at blood lead concentrations well below 25 micrograms per deciliter, the level currently defined by the Centers for Disease Control as the highest acceptable level for young children.
Article
Contrary to previous reports that women are more concerned about environmental risks than men, we hypothesized that men and women residing in neighborhoods stressed by multiple hazards would demonstrate similar concerns about local environmental conditions. Analysis of a national data base and an aggregate of ten local data bases found greater female than male concern about local technological, behavioral, and land use hazards in good neighborhoods, but, as expected, not in stressed ones. We urge analysts to conduct more studies in stressed neighborhoods in order to better understand the perspective of those who live with environmental risks.
Article
This paper reports the results of a national survey in which perceptions of environmental health risks were measured for 1275 white and 214 nonwhite persons. The results showed that white women perceived risks to be much higher than did white men, a result that is consistent with previous studies. However, this gender difference was not true of nonwhite women and men, whose perceptions of risk were quite similar. Most striking was the finding that white males tended to differ from everyone else in their attitudes and perceptions--on average, they perceived risks as much smaller and much more acceptable than did other people. These results suggest that socio-political factors such as power, status, alienation, and trust are strong determiners of people's perception and acceptance of risks.
Article
A substantial body of risk research indicates that women and men differ in their perceptions of risk. This paper discusses how they differ and why. A review of a number of existing empirical studies of risk perception points at several problems, regarding what gender differences are found in such studies, and how these differences are accounted for. Firstly, quantitative approaches, which have so far dominated risk research, and qualitative approaches give different, sometimes even contradictory images of women's and men's perceptions of risk. Secondly, the gender differences that appear are often left unexplained, and even when explanations are suggested, these are seldom related to gender research and gender theory in any systematic way. This paper argues that a coherent, theoretically informed gender perspective on risk is needed to improve the understanding of women's and men's risk perceptions. An analysis of social theories of gender points out some relations and distinctions which should be considered in such a perspective. It is argued that gender structures, reflected in gendered ideology and gendered practice, give rise to systematic gender differences in the perception of risk. These gender differences may be of different kinds, and their investigation requires the use of qualitative as well as quantitative methods. In conclusion, the arguments about gender and risk perception are brought together in a theoretical model which might serve as a starting point for further research.
Article
Risk management has become increasingly politicized and contentious. Polarized views, controversy, and conflict have become pervasive. Research has begun to provide a new perspective on this problem by demonstrating the complexity of the concept "risk" and the inadequacies of the traditional view of risk assessment as a purely scientific enterprise. This paper argues that danger is real, but risk is socially constructed. Risk assessment is inherently subjective and represents a blending of science and judgment with important psychological, social, cultural, and political factors. In addition, our social and democratic institutions, remarkable as they are in many respects, breed distrust in the risk arena. Whoever controls the definition of risk controls the rational solution to the problem at hand. If risk is defined one way, then one option will rise to the top as the most cost-effective or the safest or the best. If it is defined another way, perhaps incorporating qualitative characteristics and other contextual factors, one will likely get a different ordering of action solutions. Defining risk is thus an exercise in power. Scientific literacy and public education are important, but they are not central to risk controversies. The public is not irrational. Their judgments about risk are influenced by emotion and affect in a way that is both simple and sophisticated. The same holds true for scientists. Public views are also influenced by worldviews, ideologies, and values; so are scientists' views, particularly when they are working at the limits of their expertise. The limitations of risk science, the importance and difficulty of maintaining trust, and the complex, sociopolitical nature of risk point to the need for a new approach--one that focuses upon introducing more public participation into both risk assessment and risk decision making in order to make the decision process more democratic, improve the relevance and quality of technical analysis, and increase the legitimacy and public acceptance of the resulting decisions.
Article
Universal need for, or reactions to, risk communications should not be assumed; potential differences across demographic groups in environmental risk beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors could affect risk levels or opportunities for risk reduction. This article reports relevant findings from a survey experiment involving 1,100 potential jurors in Philadelphia concerning public responses to outdoor air pollution and air quality information. Flynn et al. (1994) and Finucane et al. (2000) found significant differences in risk ratings for multiple hazards, and in generic risk beliefs, between white men (or a subset) and all others (white women, nonwhite men, and nonwhite women). This study examined whether white men had significantly different responses to air pollution and air pollution information. An opportunity sample of volunteers from those awaiting potential jury duty in city courts (matching census estimates for white versus nonwhite proportions, but more female than the city's adult population and more likely to have children) filled out questionnaires distributed quasi-randomly. On most measures there were no statistically significant differences among white men (N = 192), white women (N = 269), nonwhite men (N = 165), and nonwhite women (N = 272). Nonwhites overall (particularly women) reported more concern about and sensitivity to air pollution than whites, and were more concerned by (even overly sensitive to) air pollution information provided as part of the experiment. Nonwhites also were more likely (within-gender comparisons) to report being active outdoors for at least four hours a day, a measure of potential exposure to air pollution, and to report intentions to reduce such outdoor activity after reading air pollution information. Differences between men and women were less frequent than between whites and nonwhites; the most distinctive group was nonwhite women, followed by white men. Flynn et al. (1994) and Finucane et al. (2000) found a far larger proportion of significant differences, with white men as most distinctive, probably due to use of different measures, study design, and population samples. However, all three studies broadly confirm the existence of gender and race interactions in risk beliefs and attitudes (particularly for white men and nonwhite women) that deserve more attention from researchers.
Equity in environmental health: Research issues and needs [Special issue]
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Sexton, K., & Anderson, Y. B. (1993). Equity in environmental health: Research issues and needs [Special issue]. Toxicology and Industrial Health, 9(5), 679–977.
Risk lived, stigma experienced
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Satterfield, T. A., Slovic, P., Gregory, R., Flynn, J., & Mertz, C. K. (2001). Risk lived, stigma experienced. In J. Flynn, P. Slovic, & H. Kunreuther (Eds.), Risk, Media, and Stigma: Under-standing Public Challenges to Modern Science and Technology (pp. 69–83). London: Earthscan.
The risk of the environmental justice paradigm
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Taylor, D. (2000). The risk of the environmental justice paradigm. American Behavioral Scientist, 43, 508–580.
0 How would you rate the quality of medical care that is available to you and your family? * Excellent/good 81
  • Fair
Fair/poor 17.0 15.4 23.3 24.0 How would you rate the quality of medical care that is available to you and your family? * Excellent/good 81.3 78.6 66.9